City to host six teams in Rugby League World Cup 2021
Leeds will play a key role in hosting part of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021).
Tournament organisers say the city will act as the training base for men’s squads from Jamaica and Ireland, and women’s squads from England, Papua New Guinea, Brazil and Canada.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council leader, said: “We are incredibly excited that as part of Rugby League World Cup 2021 which is now just 500 days away, six teams in total from both the men’s and women’s tournaments will be based in Leeds.
“This is testament to the tremendous training facilities that we are able to offer as a city through many different sites, which includes as part of this tournament, those available at University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.
“With two of our city’s most iconic venues Elland Road and Emerald Headingley Stadium also hosting matches as part of Rugby League World Cup 2021, we simply cannot wait to once again showcase Leeds to people from across the world in what promises to be a truly unforgettable tournament.”
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 chief executive, said: “Today marks another hugely exciting milestone on the road to Rugby League World Cup 2021, as we celebrate 500 days until the opening fixture at St James’ Park in October next year.
“Leeds is set to see some amazing action, hosting more matches than any other city.
“Now, with the city set to act as the training base to some amazing nations and rugby league cup debutants, Rugby League World Cup 2021 is set to be an unforgettable time for the people of Leeds.
“Our refreshed tournament identity and today’s nation base announcement can serve as an exciting reminder for the people of Leeds of what’s to come in 2021 as we continue to build momentum towards what promises to be the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup in history.”
The squads from the 21 unique nations and 32 teams will be based in different locations.
The full list of host towns and cities, and the corresponding nations includes four other Yorkshire locations as well as Leeds:
- Doncaster – Samoa (Men’s)
- Hull – Fiji (Men’s)
- Sheffield – Greece (Men’s) | France, Wales, Scotland, USA (Wheelchair)
- York – New Zealand (Men’s) | Australia, New Zealand, France, Cook Islands (Women’s)
RLWC2021 has also revealed new branding for the tournament, focusing on human interest stories and emotional connections, with the goal of connecting with a universal audience.