With 500 days to go until the opening fixture of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 (RLWC2021), tournament organisers have announced that Scotland will be based in Newcastle for next years’ tournament.

The men’s squad, known as the ‘Bravehearts’, will be calling Newcastle home during the tournament, where the city will host the opening men’s fixture at St James’ Park, as well as Kingston Park hosting three men’s group games.

Nathan Graham, Scotland Men’s Head Coach said:

I was lucky enough to spend a couple of years in Newcastle at University, and it’s a fantastic city, and has come on since then. All the quayside has been smartened up, and there’s some really nice areas of the city.
We’ll be playing at Kingston Park, which is a great facility. It’s a 4G surface, which potentially plays into our hands a little bit. I don’t think our opposition will have the benefit of regular games on 4G, whereas our guys have got a bit more of a feel for it.
I’m looking forward to it, it’s a great city with plenty going on. It will be great for our supporters to come down from Scotland, and there’s plenty of bars and restaurants and things to do as well.

All the host cities and towns, including those who won’t be a dedicated team base (Coventry and Kirklees), will form a huge part of making the tournament a success, welcoming players from around the world and adopting them as their own, as they get behind them and cheer them on in 500 days’ time. Following this announcement, the fixtures for all three tournaments will be announced in the coming months.

RLWC2021 has today also revealed new branding for the tournament, celebrating the power of together, focusing on human interest stories and emotional connections, with the goal of connecting with a universal audience.

The new branding will also include bespoke elements from each host, drawing on recognisable icons and displaying the sense of civic pride each host has for its town or city. RLWC2021 will be asking 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.

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.  We can’t wait to see Scotland at the World Cup in 2021, and I’m sure the people of Newcastle will welcome them into the city with open arms. The nations can look forward to a brilliant atmosphere in all of our fantastic host towns and cities.

Our refreshed tournament identity and today’s team base announcement can serve as an exciting reminder for the competing nations of what’s to come in 2021, and give our hosts the first glimpse into who they can expect to see in their home town as we continue to build momentum towards what promises to be the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.

The squads from the 21 unique nations and 32 teams will be based in different locations. The full list of host towns and cities, and the corresponding nations is as follows:

  • Bolton – France (Men’s)
  • Doncaster – Samoa (Men’s)
  • Hull – Fiji (Men’s)
  • Leeds – Jamaica, Ireland (Men’s) | England, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, Canada (Women’s)
  • Liverpool and St Helen’s – Tonga, Italy (Men’s teams)
  • London – England, Australia, Norway, Spain (Wheelchair)
  • Manchester – England, Australia (Men’s)
  • Newcastle – Scotland (Men’s)
  • Preston – Wales (Men’s)
  • Sheffield – Greece (Men’s) | France, Wales, Scotland, USA (Wheelchair)
  • Tees Valley – Cook Islands (Men’s)
  • Warrington – Papua New Guinea (Men’s)
  • Wigan/Leigh – Lebanon (Men’s)
  • York – New Zealand (Men’s) | Australia, New Zealand, France, Cook Islands (Women’s)

Please visit www.RLWC2021.com for more information and for details on how to sign up to the receive ticket alerts and all the latest news first.