Rescheduled Rugby League World Cup set to take place in venues across North West and Yorkshire
A massive year of sport in 2022 just got bigger as the rescheduled Rugby League World Cup 2021 has revealed its full schedule, set to be capped off by an unprecedented three world cup finals in 24 hours in Manchester.
Tickets are now available for all matches, which will be played at venues across the country, north and south, with all three finals (men’s, women’s and wheelchair) taking place in Manchester (18 and 19 November).
The North West is a rugby league stronghold and we are delighted to be bringing so many fantastic fixtures to the region
The full tournament will comprise 61 matches in total with 21 venues across 18 host towns and cities involved in the tournament, with only five matches having to be rescheduled from the original 2021 fixture list.
Due to construction and conflicting sporting events, fixtures at Anfield and the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool have had to be swapped, as have fixtures in Leeds and Hull.
Overcoming challenges for the biggest Rugby League World Cup ever
Five weeks of world-class sport kicks off at St James’ Park in Newcastle on 15 October as England men take on Samoa. The women’s tournament meanwhile begins with a doubleheader at Headingley Stadium in Leeds on November 1 with England taking on Brazil followed by Papa New Guinea versus Canada.
The wheelchair tournament will begin on 3 November with back to back games. Spain versus Norway and England versus Australia at the Copperbox Arena in London.
The North West and Yorkshire will host their share of games with Manchester (Old Trafford, Manchester Central), Warrington (Halliwell Jones Stadium), St Helens (Totally Wicked Stadium), Wigan (DW Stadium), Leigh (Leight Sports Village), Bolton (The University of Bolton Stadium), Kirklees (John Smiths Stadium) and Leeds (Elland Road, Headingley) all hosting games throughout.
Next year’s tournament will be a breakthrough for the sport as the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions are staged together for the first time. All of the fixtures will also be screened live on the BBC.
Opportunity disguised as misfortune
Despite the inevitable difficulties and challenges that have come with rescheduling the tournament, organisers have emphasised that all that has changed is the dates.
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 Chief Executive Officer, said:
“We have achieved our objective in delivering minimal disruption to the existing 61-match schedule and I want to place on record my thanks to all those who have made it possible.
“Every host town and city who joined us on this journey remains involved and they will set the stage for the very best that the sport has to offer, and you can see from the schedule there are world-class, compelling matches, across all three tournaments at some of the most iconic venues across England.
“The North West will play an immeasurable part in this tournament, notably with Manchester playing host to all three finals. The North West is a rugby league stronghold and we are delighted to be bringing so many fantastic fixtures to the region.
“We are delighted to make tickets available to purchase again and supporters can now look forward to being part of this unique, global event. With match dates and locations confirmed, the excitement will only intensify for this bigger and better Rugby League World Cup.”
Countries represented in the three competitions at the Rugby League World Cup include favourites like England, New Zealand and Australia as well as underdogs including Jamaica, Greece and Brazil.
The Rugby League World Cup news precedes last week’s announcement that Super League in England will be broadcast live on free-to-air television for the first time in the competition’s history in 2022. Ten matches will be broadcast on Channel 4 as part of the two-year deal, with the remaining matches broadcast on Sky.
2021 saw record viewing figures for Super League.
General admission tickets and hospitality for all 61 matches will be back on-sale from 9am GMT today in line with the full schedule reveal. Tickets can be purchased via: www.rlwc2021.com/tickets