No 2021 World Cup games for DW Stadium

Wigan's DW Stadium will not be hosting any games in the Rugby League World Cup in 2021.

Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 8:37 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th January 2019, 9:43 am
Wigan's DW Stadium hosted England v France in 2013
Wigan's DW Stadium hosted England v France in 2013

But Leigh Sports Village will be hosting three group games.

Wigan Warriors' home hosted a 2013 World Cup game between England and France. But there was confusion this morning when the venues were announced, as the DW was included on a list of venues. But when they were announced, only Leigh Sports Village were handed games as part of Wigan's bid.

Wembley has been also ignored but the Emirates Stadium in London will host rugby league for the first time, with the home of Arsenal handed one of the semi-finals, while Coventry will stage a group match at the Ricoh Arena.

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The rest of the matches will take place deep in rugby league's traditional heartland, with occasional forays into the north-east, as organisers comfortably meet a Government target of holding at least 80 per cent of the tournament in the Northern Powerhouse.

It is a far cry from 2013, the last time the Rugby Football League organised the World Cup, when matches were staged in such far-flung places as Limerick, Neath, Bristol and Avignon.

This time, despite an increase in the number of teams from 14 to 16, organisers opted not to venture outside England and, after landing a £25million grant from the Government, agreed to concentrate on the north.

Among other eye-catching venues from the announcement in Manchester on Tuesday morning, Elland Road will stage the other semi-final while Old Trafford will again host the final after drawing a crowd of 74,468 in 2013 for the clash between Australia and New Zealand.

Newcastle's St James' Park, which has lost the lucrative Magic Weekend to Anfield this year, has won the right to stage the opening ceremony, which will be followed by the opening game featuring England.

Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium is something of a surprise choice while organisers will take three matches to a purpose-built 8,000-capacity stadium in Workington.

The stadium, to be developed by Allerdale Borough Council, is expected to be completed by the spring of 2021 at a cost of £15million and will be the new home for both League One club Workington and the town's football team.

The men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments will all be played concurrently for the first time, with the women's final taking place as a double-header with the men's event at Old Trafford.

Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena Liverpool will host the wheelchair final.

Jon Dutton, chief executive of Rugby League World Cup 2021, said: "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."

The draw will take place on November 27, two years out from the final, and venues are:

Group matches - Bolton, St Helens 3, Warrington 3, Leigh 3, Coventry, Doncaster 3, Workington 3, Leeds (Headingley) 3, Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Hull (KCOM), Sheffield (Bramall Lane).

Quarter-finals - Bolton, Liverpool (Anfield), Huddersfield, Hull (KCOM).

Semi-finals - Leeds (Elland Road), London Emirates.

Full list of game venues/hosts across men’s, women’s and wheelchair fixtures:


Bolton – The University of Bolton Stadium will host two men’s games, including an England group game and quarter-final.

Liverpool – Anfield will host the marquee quarter-final tie along with the women’s opening ceremony and initial England game. M&S Bank Arena Liverpool will host the wheelchair Rugby League final.

Preston – First training base to be revealed.

St Helens – The Totally Wicked Stadium will host three men’s group games.

Trafford – Old Trafford will host both the men’s and women’s finals as a double-header event.

Warrington – The Halliwell Jones Stadium will host three men’s group games.

Wigan and Leigh – Leigh Sports Village will host three men’s group games


Coventry – The Ricoh Arena will host one men’s game.


Doncaster – Club Doncaster will host three men’s group games.

Kirklees – The John Smiths Stadium will host a men’s quarter-final.

Hull – The KCOM Stadium will host two men’s games, including a quarter-final.

Leeds – Hosting more games than any other city, Elland Road will host a men’s semi-final and Emerald Headingley Stadium will host three men’s games and two women’s games.

Sheffield – Bramall Lane will host an England men’s group game. The EIS Sheffield will host a group and both semi-finals in the wheelchair tournament.

York – The Community Stadium will host a women’s group game and both women’s semi-finals.


Middlesbrough – The Riverside Stadium will host a significant men’s group game.

Newcastle – St James’ Park will host the opening England men’s group game including the men’s opening ceremony


Allerdale – The Workington Community Stadium will host three men’s group games.


London – The Emirates Stadium will host a men’s semi-final. The Copper Box Arena will host the England group in the wheelchair tournament.