RLWC Australia v Fiji

This year’s Rugby World League Cup promises to be a nationwide sporting spectacle as the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions run at the same time. Leeds is one of the main hosts – find out more.

The world’s best Rugby League players are on their way to Leeds over the next few weeks, for a tournament that promises a lot more than games.

The Rugby League World Cup 2021 – that’s not a typo, the pandemic has a lot to answer for – runs from Saturday 15th October to Saturday 19th November 2022. The big news? Leeds won’t just have a big role to play in it, it’ll be hosting more games than anywhere else, with eight in total. It’s all part of a hugely inclusive, celebratory World Cup that sees the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments all taking place simultaneously. Here’s everything you need to know…

It’s bigger, it’s better and it’s coming to Leeds

Rugby League

Credit: Simon Wilkinson

The pandemic delay to The Rugby League World Cup 2021 has given the organisers lots of time to do some serious planning. And what they’ve come up with promises to be the biggest and best tournament yet. It’s not just men who’ll be playing, but the women’s and the wheelchair world cups will be taking place at the same time, all across the UK, in a festival of approachable, accessible sport.

Fancy seeing some of the action? You’re in luck, because Leeds is one of the main hosts, and tickets are already on sale. This includes an opening-day cracker that sees the men’s world champions come to Headingley Stadium. Australia vs. Fiji promises to be a real showstopper that will set the tone for the tournament.

We’ve got more games than any other city


That’s just one of eight games you can check out in Leeds – more than in any other city. Jamaica vs. Ireland will see the Reggae Warriors make their tournament debut on Sunday 16th October 2023. Later in the month, New Zealand vs.Ireland will bring the Wolfhounds back to Headingley Stadium to pit their wits against the Kiwis on Friday 28th October 2022. And that’s followed by the Men’s Semi Finals at Elland Road at 7.45pm on Friday 11th November 2022.

The Women’s World Cup will be a real centrepiece of this year’s event and you can soak up the unique atmosphere of those games at a double header on Tuesday 1st November 2022. England vs. Brazil will let you get behind your home team, before the crowds regroup for Papua New Guinea vs. Canada. The same four teams will be in action again on another double header taking place on Wednesday 9th November 2022, which means you can watch Canada vs. Brazil before the England vs. Papua New Guinea game.

Leeds will be buzzing as the base for six teams


Credit: Vaughn Ridley

Leeds isn’t just going to be a great place to catch games at The Rugby League World Cup, it’ll also be the home base for six different teams. With the additional two nations, RLWC21 will be more inclusive than ever before, and you might spot players from the Jamaica and Ireland men’s teams, as well as the England, Papua New Guinea, Brazil and Canada women’s teams in the city during the tournament.

As well as international stars, there will also be plenty of Leeds legends taking to the field. Richie Myler, for example, will be turning out for Ireland, which means he could be on the field for Ireland against Jamaica on Sunday 16th October 2022. The English women’s team, meanwhile, could feature Rhinos such as Fran Goldthorp, Keara Bennett and Dannielle Anderson.

Inclusion and community are at the heart of RLWC2021


Credit: Allan McKenzie

One of the great things about RLWC2021 is how affordable it is to see world-class sport. 80% of tickets are priced below £50, families of four can get tickets for less than £25 for some games, and there are prices starting as low as £2.21 for concessions. All of which means that you can whisk the kids along for an atmosphere that’s famously family friendly.

That’s only the start of the inclusivity, however. Part of the planning for the World Cup has been implementing a social impact program that has put over £25 million into bricks and mortar projects, while they’ve also engaged with inclusive volunteers and groups across numerous communities. It’s all about making this the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever, and Leeds is at the heart of it.

Cover image credit: Alex Whitehead