Where Rugby League World Cup 2021 sides will be based in Yorkshire
HOSTS England and holders Australia will both be based in Manchester for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup - while York will host a raft of teams including New Zealand.
With 500 days to go until the opening fixture of RLWC2021 at St James’ Park in Newcastle, organisers this morning revealed where each nation will be located during the competition.
Manchester United and England footballer Jesse Lingard announced that Shaun Wane’s England side and Mal Meninga’s Kangaroos would train and prepare in Manchester - where they also both hope to eventually reach the final at Old Trafford.
Look North presenter Harry Gration, meanwhile, was on hand to help in the announcement that York will welcome New Zealand’s men's and women’s sides as well as the women’s team from Australia, France and the Cook Islands.
Players from the different sides, including Kiwi star Dallin Watene Zelezniak, hooked up on a social ‘homeschooling’ call from Miss E to hear the news.
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.
“York is a wonderful city with a rich history and we’re all thrilled that it’s playing such a major role in Rugby League World Cup 2021.
“The city will be hosting some of the biggest names in the sport and a wealth of incredible talent in 2021 and I know the people of York will be incredibly welcoming hosts.
“Our refreshed tournament identity and today’s nation base announcement can serve as an exciting reminder for the people of York 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.”
Leeds - with Elland Road and Emerald Headingley already confirmed as venues for staging matches - will see the men’s teams from Jamaica and Ireland as well as the women’s sides from England, Papua New Guinea, Brazil and Canada all descend on the city next year.
Jamaica already know the area well given they trained in the city last autumn ahead of facing England Knights at Headingley and their operations directors in the UK - dual-code England international Jason Robinson and media mogul Alex Simmons - both hail from Leeds.
With a big Jamaican population in Leeds, the Reggae Warriors are hoping to get plenty of fans behind them as they enter their historic maiden World Cup.
Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council leader, said: "We are incredibly excited that as part of Rugby League World Cup 2021 which is now just 500 days away, six teams in total from both the men's and women's tournaments will be based in Leeds.
"This is testament to the tremendous training facilities that we are able to offer as a city through many different sites, which includes as part of this tournament, those available at University of Leeds and Leeds Beckett University.
"With two of our city's most iconic venues Elland Road and Emerald Headingley Stadium also hosting matches as part of Rugby League World Cup 2021, we simply cannot wait to once again showcase Leeds to people from across the world in what promises to be a truly unforgettable tournament."
Hull will host the Fiji men's team and Middlesbrough football club captain George Friend was on hand to help explain to the Cook Islands what they can expect when they arrive in Tees Valley for the competition.
Doncaster, of course, are hosting three games at next year's tournament and it was today revealed Samoa will be staying and training in the South Yorkshire town.
Hull will host Fiji and Sheffield welcome Greece, as well as the France, Wales, Scotland and USA wheelchair sides.
It is no surprise that St Helens coach Kristian Woolf sees his Tonga side located there with St Helens and Liverpool also hosting the Italy men's side.
Elsewhere, France will stay in Bolton, Newcastle host Scotland, Wales will be based in Preston, Papua New Guinea will prepare in Warrington and Wigan/Leigh will entertain Lebanon during the tournament.
The England, Australia, Norway and Spain wheelchair sides will all reside in London.
The RLWC2021 new brand identity, celebrating the Power of Together, was revealed with the goal of connecting the tournament with a universal audience.
It says that the refreshed RLWC2021 brand symbol – the Cup - is a natural progression from the previous tournament identity.
The new Cup is built from red, orange and yellow ribbons representing the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments respectively.
The ribbons embody each of the three individual tournaments coming together into one and are symbols of connection and triumph.
Organisers say the inclusion of stars is a metaphor for the three world class tournaments; they orbit the globe at the pinnacle of the Cup, symbolising the unified passion of all nations, teams and communities striving towards the World Cup - 'reaching for the stars'.
New colours have also been introduced with Power Purple now the lead colour representing the tournaments values of inclusivity and boldness.
The new branding will also include bespoke elements from each host, that draws on its most recognisable icons and displays the sense of civic pride each host has for its town or city.
Organisers will ask the 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.
RLWC2021 Customer Director Terri Lynam said: “Today, 10 June marks 500 days to go until the tournament gets underway in spectacular fashion in Newcastle.
“It also marks another hugely exciting milestone on the road to Rugby League World Cup 2021, with the refreshed brand reveal.
“The Power of Together, allows us to focus even more on human interest stories, emotional connections, and a celebration of togetherness.
“Our refreshed World Cup identity showcases our values of inclusivity and boldness by incorporating all three tournaments into one logo.
“The new colours and the way we want to celebrate the hosts and nations in a different way, effectively represents the uniqueness of RLWC2021."
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