The host venues for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup have been announced, with the tournament to be played in 21 stadia across the UK.
A mixture of rugby-specific and soccer stadia will be used for event, which will include the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments. Newcastle’s St James’ Park has been selected to host the opening ceremony, which will take place on October 23, 2021, while Old Trafford, home to English Premier League soccer side Manchester United, will stage the final at the 74,994-seater venue.
Notably, London will have only two venues used at the tournament and surprisingly neither Wembley Stadium or Twickenham are on the list. It will be Emirates Stadium, home to Arsenal FC, that will be used. This will be the first non-soccer match to be played at the 60,260 stadium.
The majority of stadia to be used for the Rugby League World Cup will be spread across the UK’s midlands and north – chosen as a result of their traditional rugby strongholds.
The full list of venues is as follows:
Bolton: The University of Bolton Stadium (28,723): Will host two men’s games, including an England group game and a quarter-final.
Liverpool: Anfield Stadium (54,074): Will host the marquee quarter-final tie along with the women’s opening ceremony and initial England game. M&S Bank Arena Liverpool will host the wheelchair Rugby League final.
Preston: First training base to be revealed.
St Helens: The Totally Wicked Stadium (18,000): Will host three men’s group games.
Manchester: Old Trafford (74,994): Will host both the men’s and women’s finals as a double-header event.
Warrington: The Halliwell Jones Stadium (15,200): Will host three men’s group games.
Wigan and Leigh: Leigh Sports Village (12,000): Will host three men’s group games
Coventry: The Ricoh Arena (32,609): Will host one men’s game.
Doncaster: Keepmoat Stadium (15,231): Will host three men’s group games.
Huddersfield: The John Smiths Stadium (24,500): Will host a men’s quarter-final.
Hull: The KCOM Stadium (25,586): Will host two men’s games, including a quarter-final.
Leeds: Elland Road (37,890) and Headingley Stadium (21,062): Hosting more games than any other city, Elland Road will host a men’s semi-final and Emerald Headingley Stadium will host three men’s games and two women’s games.
Sheffield: Bramall Lane (32,702): Will host an England men’s group game. The EIS Sheffield will host a group and both semi-finals in the wheelchair tournament.
York: The Community Stadium (8,005): Will host a women’s group game and both women’s semi-finals.
Middlesbrough: The Riverside Stadium (34,742): Will host a significant men’s group game.
Newcastle: St James’ Park (52,405): Will host the opening England men’s group game including the men’s opening ceremony
Allerdale: The Workington Community Stadium (under construction): Will host three men’s group games.
London: Emirates Stadium (60,062) and Copper Box Arena (7,500). Emirates will host a men’s semi-final. The Copper Box Arena will host the England group in the wheelchair tournament.
The draw for the RLWC2021 will take place on November 27, 2019.