Sheffield chosen as host city for teams for 2021 Rugby League World Cup
Sheffield has been chosen as one of 16 cities and towns to be a host city for teams at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup as the countdown to the tournament continues.
The city was announced as one of the venues to host games as part of the competition in January, with Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane set to host one of England’s group games.
And, with exactly 900 days to go until the tournament begins in October 2021, officials announced the locations selected to host the 32 teams will be Allerdale, Bolton, Doncaster, Hull, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Preston, Sheffield, St Helens, Tees Valley, Trafford/Salford, Warrington, Wigan/Leigh and York.
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 chief executive, said: "These chosen hosts will play such an important role in welcoming all teams and nations, offering them a base and helping them prepare in the best possible environment so they can perform at their peak on the pitch."
Qualification is still ongoing and all nations will be confirmed in time for the draw, which will take place on November 27, after which teams will be allocated their hosts.
In 2021, 32 teams will compete over 64 games, with the tournament promising to be one of the most inclusive and diverse events ever hosted in England, promoting the three disciplines of the men’s, women’s and wheelchair Rugby League World Cup.
The English Institute of Sport, in Attercliffe, will also host the group games and semi-finals of the wheelchair competition.
Tournament’s organisers estimated that the games will be watched worldwide by 150 million people across 115 countries.
Dave McCarthy, operations director at Sheffield United, said the club was ‘honoured’ Bramall Lane had been chosen as a host venue.
He said: “We are honoured that our stadium has been chosen to stage games which could involve some of the biggest names at international level.
“Our Bramall Lane stadium will be an amazing venue, showcasing once again the versatility of the stadium in the modern era of sport and entertainment.”
Former sports minister Richard Caborn, who is project lead for the Olympic Legacy Park, paid credit to the team behind the bid.
He said: “This is fantastic news for Sheffield and a credit to our bid team. Sheffield is a passionate sports city which will play its part in offering outstanding facilities and a very warm welcome to players, officials and spectators from across the world.”
Sheffield Eagles, who moved back to the city earlier last year after a four-year exile, backed the bid and head coach Mark Aston said he hoped the tournament would lead to a lasting legacy for the club.
He added: “It’s fantastic we have been awarded host city status. A lot of effort has gone on behind the scenes with a very strong bid submitted. We have always believed that Sheffield is the perfect fit for the tournament but to finally be given confirmation is brilliant.
“This could be a catalyst for the Eagles and the sport of rugby league to progress and develop further in the city. The hard work starts now, from all those involved in the bid, to make sure we deliver this and create a lasting legacy from hosting the pinnacle event in our sport.”
Exact dates for fixtures and ticket details have not yet been finalised.