In under 1,000 days’ time, the Rugby League World Cup will arrive in England with Sheffield being confirmed as a host city for the 2021 tournament.
The competition is scheduled to take place from 23 October to 27 November 2021, and Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane will be a host venue for the men’s tournament.
The final will be played at Manchester United’s Old Trafford while Newcastle’s St James’ Park will host the opening ceremony.
The Women’s Rugby League World Cup and Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup will be held simultaneously.
The women’s final will be played on the same day and at the same stadium as the men’s, with the Emirates Stadium hosting the men’s semi-final – the first time the stadium has held a sporting event other than football.
The announcement was made live on the BBC this morning, and the full list of host cities are:
- Newcastle: St James’ Park
- Sheffield: Bramall Lane and EIS
- Doncaster: Keepmoat Stadium
- Hull: KCOM Stadium
- York: new stadium
- Huddersfield: John Smith’s Stadium
- Leeds: Elland Road and Headingley Stadium
- Liverpool: Anfield
- St Helens: Langtree Park
- Warrington: Halliwell Jones Stadium
- Leigh: Leigh Sports Village
- Wigan: DW Stadium
- Bolton: University of Bolton Stadium
- Manchester: Old Trafford
- London: Emirates Stadium and Copper Box Arena
- Middlesbrough: Riverside Stadium
- Workington: Workington community stadium (yet to be built)
- Coventry: Ricoh Arena
It is the first time England have hosted the tournament since they staged the competition with Wales in 2013, where the Wall of White’s were knocked out at the semi-final stage.
England were runners-up in 2017, losing the final 6-0 to hosts Australia.
Games will be held exclusively in England this year, with the organisers ruling out taking matches to France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales as has previously been the case when the Rugby Football League acted as hosts.
Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport will host a group of Wheelchair Rugby League as well as both semi-finals.