Arsenal will host a Rugby League World Cup match in 2021 to make it the first event other than football to be played at the Emirates Stadium.
The 60,260-capacity stadium is among 21 confirmed hosts for the tournament, along with Leeds’ Elland Road and Manchester United‘s Old Trafford hosting the final, but surprisingly Wembley, England’s national stadium, misses out.
Newcastle’s St James’ Park will host the opening ceremony on October 23.
Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium, Sheffield United’s Bramall Lane and Coventry’s Ricoh Arena are some of the other listed venues.
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The women’s and wheelchair events will be run alongside the men’s competition for the first time also.
“I would like to congratulate all of our chosen hosts who have worked so hard in submitting such compelling bids,” Jon Dutton, chief executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 said.
“Each and every host now has the opportunity to galvanise and inspire their respective communities ahead of the competing nations arriving in England.
“With all three tournaments running concurrently, RLWC2021 will give the chance for people across the country to engage in a variety of ways and really look forward to October and November 2021.
“This was an incredibly tough process given the large number of interested parties and the impressive nature of their bids.
“With so many competitive bids, we’re confident that our chosen hosts will help play a role in delivering the greatest, and most inclusive, Rugby League World Cup of all time.”
Confirmed Rugby League 2021 venues
- Newcastle – St James’ Park (52,405 capacity)
- Sheffield – Bramall Lane (32,702) & English Institute of Sport
- Doncaster – Keepmoat Stadium (15,231)
- Hull – KCOM Stadium (25,586)
- York – York Community Stadium (8,005)
- Huddersfield – John Smith’s Stadium (24,500)
- Leeds – Elland Road (37,890) & Headingley Stadium (21,062)
- Liverpool – Anfield (54,074)
- Manchester – Old Trafford (74,994)
- Preston – First training base to be revealed
- St. Helens – Totally Wicked Stadium (18,00)
- Warrington – Halliwell Jones Stadium (15,200)
- Leigh & Wigan – Leigh Sports Village (12,000)
- Bolton – University of Bolton Stadium (28,723)
- London – Emirates Stadium (60,260) & Copper Box Arena (7,500)
- Middlesbrough – Riverside Stadium (34,742)
- Workington – Workington Community Stadium (under construction)
- Coventry – Ricoh Arena (32,609)