Sheffield to host five teams including Greece men’s and wheelchair champions France as RLWC2021 nation training bases announced.

  • Sheffield will host the men’s squad from Greece, and wheelchair sides from France, Wales, Scotland and USA
  • The announcement celebrates 500 days until the opening fixture of RLWC2021

With 500 days to go until the opening fixture of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), tournament organisers have announced that Sheffield will act as a host for the current holders of the wheelchair trophy, France, as well as Wales, Scotland and USA wheelchair sides. The Steel City will also welcome Greece’s men’s team, who take part in their first ever Rugby League World Cup.

Sheffield is set to play a major role in RLWC2021, with Bramall Lane hosting an England men’s group game, and the EIS Sheffield hosting a group game as well as both semi-final ties in the wheelchair tournament, on top of today’s exciting announcement that the city will be welcoming five nation teams.

Sheffield will play host to the Greek men’s team, who are taking part in the nation’s first ever Rugby League World Cup after overcoming a backdrop of turmoil. With the Greek’s currently unable to play rugby league in their own country, they’ll be looking to make the Steel City a real home-from-home.

Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield could not be more thrilled to be a host city for the Rugby League World Cup 2021, and to welcome the Greek Men’s team plus the reigning wheelchair champions, France, USA and our neighbouring countries Wales and Scotland to train here. As we begin to reopen outdoor sports facilities in our city, we understand the value of sport in our communities, more than ever.

“Whilst we look forward to the competition commencing in 500 days, and to welcoming athletes and spectators from across the UK and around the world, we must do so carefully and with utmost consideration to the safety and wellbeing of players and fans alike.  The pandemic has left sports in a very different place to what it was a year ago and we have to respect that challenges will need to be overcome to make this event one to remember for all the right reasons.

“Sheffield is proud to be an inclusive city with a rich sporting history which perfectly represents the values of this tournament. This exciting event will no doubt leave a long-lasting legacy celebrating the heritage of Rugby League and inspiring our fans and players of the future.”

rugby league world cup wheelchair

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 is as follows:

  • Bolton – France (Men’s)
  • Doncaster – Samoa (Men’s)
  • Hull – Fiji (Men’s)
  • Leeds – Jamaica, Ireland (Men’s) | England, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Canada (Women’s)
  • Liverpool and St Helen’s – Tonga, Italy (Men’s teams)
  • London – England, Australia, Norway, Spain (Wheelchair)
  • Manchester – England, Australia (Men’s)
  • Newcastle – Scotland (Men’s)
  • Preston – Wales (Men’s)
  • Sheffield – Greece (Men’s) | France, Wales, Scotland, USA (Wheelchair)
  • Tees Valley – Cook Islands (Men’s)
  • Warrington – Papua New Guinea (Men’s)
  • Wigan/Leigh – Lebanon (Men’s)
  • York – New Zealand (Men’s) | Australia, New Zealand, France, Cook Islands (Women’s)

All the host cities and towns, including those who won’t be a dedicated team base (Coventry and Kirklees), will form a huge part of making the tournament a success, welcoming players from around the world and adopting them as their own, as they get behind them and cheer them on in 500 days’ time. Following this announcement, the fixtures for all three tournaments will be announced in the coming months.

RLWC2021 has today also revealed new branding for the tournament, celebrating the power of together, focusing on human interest stories and emotional connections, with the goal of connecting with a universal audience.

The new branding will also include bespoke elements from each host, drawing on recognisable icons and displaying the sense of civic pride each host has for its town or city. RLWC2021 will be asking people from each town and city to vote on the icons that make up their custom patterns in the coming months and will be doing something similar for the nations towards the end of the year.

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.

“Sheffield and its fans have plenty to look forward to, as it is set to welcome five nations in 2021. We know how much they embrace and appreciate sport in the Steel City, with everything from snooker to ice hockey, so we know these nations are sure to get a tremendous welcome.

“Our refreshed tournament identity and today’s nation base announcement can serve as an exciting reminder for the people of Sheffield 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.”

Please visit www.RLWC2021.com for more information and for details on how to sign up to the receive ticket alerts and all the latest news first.