2021 Rugby League World Cup

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2021 (2021) World Cup  ()
Number of teams 16
Host country  England
Matches played 31
 < 2017
2025

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup will be the sixteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup and will be held in England between 23 October 2021 and 27 November 2021. The tournament will include 16 teams, an increase of two from the last two tournaments.[1]

On 27 October 2016, it was confirmed that England won the hosting rights for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.[2]

Host selection[edit]

There were initially three bids for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup but the United Arab Emirates bid[3] had to be cancelled due to the arrest of Sol Mokdad following a complaint from UAE rugby union officials.[4]

England, and the United States and Canada were the two remaining bidders of the event. The English RFL received U.K. government support - £15 million to enhance the tournament and up to a further £10 million into the game's infrastructure - for the event to be staged in the country. The RFL mentioned they wanted the event to be the most attended in history with over 1,000,000 people attending the grounds over the tournament’s days. They were also planning to use 12 venues for the event which included non-purpose and rugby league-purpose stadiums.[5]

The United States and Canada bid was initially a sole United States bid from an Australian sports marketing agency, Moore Sports International (MSI). Jason Moore of MSI stated that rugby league has a strong following in several US markets and that fans new to rugby league and "who have a hunger for gladiatorial-style sports are going to fall in love with this extraordinary game".[6] Eight to ten cities, featuring venues from either the NFL or MLS, were planned for the event, offering Rugby League International Federation the opportunity to stage the tournament outside of Europe and Australasia for the first time.[7] Canada Rugby League later announced they wanted to be a part of the United States bid stating that the cities of Vancouver and Toronto could also potentially host matches.[8]

On 27 October 2016, RLIF announced that England had won hosting rights for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.[9] To avoid a conflict of interest, RFL Chief Executive Nigel Wood, who is chairman of the RLIF, and RFL Chairman Brian Barwick, a fellow RLIF board member, did not take part in the decision-making process.[10]

Qualification[edit]

Teams[edit]

As the quarter-finalists from the Rugby League World Cup 2017 qualify automatically, the final allocation of places was dependent upon results from that tournament.[11] Following the successful qualification of 6 teams from Asia-Pacific and Lebanon at the quarter-finals, the allocations were confirmed as 6 teams from Europe, 6 from Asia-Pacific, 1 from Middle East/Africa, 2 from the Americas and 1 from an intercontinental play-off.[11]

Country Qualified as Qualification date Previous appearances in tournament Best World Cup Result Continent
 Australia 2017 Winners 3 November 2017 15 (List) Winners (11 times) Asia/Pacific
 England Hosts 27 October 2016 6 (1975, 1995, 2000, 2008, 2013, 2017) Runners-up (1975, 1995, 2017) Europe
 Fiji 2017 Semi-finalists 10 November 2017 5 (1995, 2000, 2008, 2013, 2017) Semi-finals (2008, 2013, 2017) Asia/Pacific
 Lebanon 2017 Quarter-finalists 12 November 2017 2 (2000, 2017) Quarter-finals (2017) Middle East/Africa
 New Zealand 2017 Quarter-finalists 4 November 2017 15 (List) Winners (2008) Asia/Pacific
 Papua New Guinea 2017 Quarter-finalists 12 November 2017 7 (1985–88, 1989–92, 1995, 2000, 2008, 2013, 2017) Quarter-finals (2000, 2017) Asia/Pacific
 Samoa 2017 Quarter-finalists 11 November 2017 5 (1995, 2000, 2008, 2013, 2017) Quarter-finals (2000, 2013, 2017) Asia/Pacific
 Tonga 2017 Semi-finalists 4 November 2017 5 (1995, 2000, 2008, 2013, 2017) Semi-finals (2017) Asia/Pacific
Asia/Pacfic
Europe
Europe
Europe
Europe
Americas
Americas
Intercontinental Play-Off

Venues[edit]

There are initially 16 venues shortlisted which will be finalised to 14 for the tournament.[12]

London Manchester London Manchester Threemilestone
Wembley Stadium Old Trafford London Stadium City of Manchester Stadium Cornwall Stadium
Capacity: 90,000 Capacity: 75,700 Capacity: 60,045 Capacity: 60,000 Capacity: 10,000
Wembley Stadium 2015 RWC.jpg View of Old Trafford from East Stand.jpg 2015 Rugby World Cup, France vs. Romania (21048401024).jpg City of Manchester Stadium East Stand.jpg Threemilestone Green.JPG
Liverpool Newcastle
Anfield St James' Park
Capacity: 54,074 Capacity: 52,405
Anfield, 20 October 2012.jpg St James Park.jpg
Coventry Sheffield
Ricoh Arena Bramall Lane
Capacity: 32,609 Capacity: 32,600
Ricoh Arena - geograph.org.uk - 901396.jpg Bramall Lane End.jpg
Hull Wigan
KCOM Stadium DW Stadium
Capacity: 25,586 Capacity: 25,138
KC Stadium before Hull v Burnley.jpg England v France 2013 RLWC (1).jpg
Huddersfield Leeds St Helens Doncaster Warrington
John Smith's Stadium Headingley Stadium Langtree Park Keepmoat Stadium Halliwell Jones Stadium
Capacity: 24,500 Capacity: 21,062 Capacity: 18,000 Capacity: 15,231 Capacity: 15,200
Galpharm Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 312658.jpg Headingley Carnegie.jpg Langtree Park 3.jpg Keepmoat1.jpg Samoa v Fiji 2013 RLWC (1).jpg

Broadcasting[edit]

Country Broadcaster Matches
 England BBC All 31 matches live[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rugby League World Cup to feature 16 teams in 2021". skySports. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2016-09-11. 
  2. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2021: England chosen as hosts ahead of US & Canada". BBC. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  3. ^ "UAE plans bid to host the 2021 Rugby League World Cup". skySports. 2015-04-18. Retrieved 2015-04-19. 
  4. ^ "Sol Mokdad issues public apology to UAE Rugby Federation to end criminal proceedings against him". TheNational. 2015-05-25. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  5. ^ "England to bid for 2021 Rugby League World Cup". skySports. 2016-06-30. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  6. ^ Caldwell, Dave (2016-08-01). "Plan Seeks to Aid Rugby's Growth With a Global Event on U.S. Soil". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  7. ^ "USA submit bid to host 2021 Rugby League World Cup". Nzherald.co.nz. 2016-08-03. Retrieved 2016-08-03. 
  8. ^ "Vancouver — and Canada — aiming to be part of 2021 Rugby League World Cup bid". TheProvince. 2016-09-16. Retrieved 2016-09-16. 
  9. ^ "England to host RLWC2021 - North America recommended for RLWC2025". Rlif.com. Retrieved 2016-10-30. 
  10. ^ "England beat USA to host Rugby League World Cup in 2021". Dailymail.uk.co. Retrieved 2016-10-27. 
  11. ^ a b "Statement from the RLIF Board meeting - March 28th 2017". Rlif.com. Retrieved 3 October 2017. 
  12. ^ "RLWC England 2021: The Stadiums". 18th MAN. 30 June 2016. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  13. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2021: BBC secures rights to broadcast all 31 games". Sportspromedia.com. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.