Liverpool City Region venues have been chosen to host matches at the 2021 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2021).
Liverpool Football Club’s famous Anfield stadium will stage both a men’s quarter-final and the opening match and ceremony for the women’s tournament.
St Helens R.F.C’s Totally Wicked Stadium and the M&S Bank Arena have also been chosen as host venues.
St Helens Council expects the fixtures will provide a £3.6 million boost to the borough and benefit the grassroots game through legacy projects.
Initial discussions with tournament organisers have also resulted in the possibility of the borough hosting a team throughout the duration of RLWC2021 , using Ruskin Drive Sports Village and St Helens R.F.C’s training facility at Cowley Language College as training bases, although a decision on this is yet to be made.
RLWC2021 will the first major sporting tournament to simultaneously host a female, male and wheelchair competition.
The final of the wheelchair competition will take place at the M&S Bank Arena.
Peter Moore, chief executive officer at Liverpool FC, says: “Liverpool Football Club is delighted to play its part in hosting the Rugby League World Cup 2021.
“Anfield stadium is renowned for its award-winning welcome and we very much look forward to extending that welcome to fans of both the men’s and women’s rugby league games in 2021.”
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 chief executive, adds: “As the only city to host a match across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events, Liverpool is going to be a key destination during the Rugby League World Cup.
“We’re delighted to be bringing some of the competition’s biggest moments to a city with such a rich sporting history.”
On St Helens being chosen to host three men’s group games, Jon adds: “St Helens is a rugby league stronghold and we’re incredibly excited to be bringing the pinnacle of the men’s game to the town through the Rugby League World Cup 2021.”
RLWC2021 will take place across England from 23 October 2021 – 27 November 2021.