Three of our regions’ rugby grounds are to host matches during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup with the tournament itself in four different countries - England, Wales, Ireland and France it was officially announced this morning.
Eighteen stadiums including Leeds, Halifax and Huddersfield will host matches, with the venues for the semi-finals and final to be announced, it is expected, in early 2012.
The quarter-finals will be held at Headingley, Wrexham, Warrington and Wigan
Bradford’s Tong School has been chosen as a training venue for top class players prior to the Rugby League World Cup in 2013.
Tong School has been chosen to be a 'host' location which means the teams will use the excellent training facilities that Bradford Bulls operate there.
Coun Andrew Thornton, Bradford Council's Executive member for sport, said: "It is great news that world class rugby players will be using the fantastic facilities up at Tong School.
The final will be held on 30 November 2013, with Old Trafford tipped as the likely venue.
Tournament director Nigel Wood said: "We experienced massive interest in hosting matches from all across Europe and we have had to make some tough decisions.
The RFL announced that Headingley Carnegie Stadium will host a group match and a quarter final in the 14-nation tournament. The city will also be a base for two competing nations, with the John Charles Centre for Sport being used as a training base.
The city’s bid, which was submitted by Leeds City Council, in partnership with Leeds Rhinos and Marketing Leeds, was considered one of only four outstanding bids out of 34 that were submitted.
Being a host city will generate additional income for local hotels and training facilities, as well as bringing in additional spend from visitors. The worldwide profile of hosting the RLWC will also help to attract investment into the city.
Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“We are absolutely delighted that our bid to be a host city for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup has been successful.
“The council, together with our partners, are confident that Leeds will bring something really special to this great competition. We are now in a position to start making firm plans on how we can maximise the significant benefits that our involvement in the tournament will bring to the city. One of which will be to cement our profile internationally as a great venue for international events.
“Leeds has a tremendously strong history, tradition, and passion for rugby league, and I know that the whole city will be thrilled with this exciting news.”