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30th Jun 2022

Nadine Dorries has done it again, this time mistaking rugby league for rugby union

Jack Peat

Nadine Dorries kicked out of Tory WhatsApp group

Another day, another Dorries howler!

Nadine Dorries walked into another classic blunder on Thursday after she referenced Jonny Wilkinson’s famous 2003 World Cup-winning drop kick… at a Rugby League press conference.

The secretary for culture, media and (supposedly) sport was speaking to delegates in St Helens when she mixed up the two codes.

“I’ve always liked the idea of rugby league. That drop goal in 2003 was such a special moment,” she said, before regaling the audience with stories of how much she liked the game and how she remembers drinking Bloody Marys at 11am (it kicked off at 8:15am).

Trouble is, that wasn’t a Rugby League tournament.

The 2003 World Cup in Australia was a rugby union competition, a different code (although, to be fair, they both use egg-shaped balls).

Dorries was speaking at an event set up to unveil the findings of a report which claims the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – delayed by the pandemic until later this year – has already made £25 million worth of positive change in communities across the north of England through its social impact programme.

The report hails the success of raising funds for sporting facilities like pitches, clubhouses and changing rooms, and Dorries said: “We know that some of the towns and cities that will host Rugby League World Cup 2021 matches are amongst those hardest hit by the pandemic and increases in the cost of living and the Government has backed the tournament with over £15m investment to bring world-class sport to these communities.

“The findings published in this report today are vindication of the decision taken to prioritise the Social Impact Programme from the very outset. It has been trailblazing in both its inception and delivery, laying the groundwork for future sporting events in this country and beyond to follow in its footsteps.”

Wilkinson’s drop kick in 2003 handed England its first-ever World Cup victory and cued pandamonium across breakfast tables across the country.

Pity it was a union tournament!

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