2021 World Cup to have record number of teams

England RL squad

The 2021 Rugby League World Cup to be hosted in England will feature 16 teams, the most in the competition’s history.

The RFL held a meeting in Manchester today to lay out plans for the competition while also giving themselves enough time to create a superb extravaganza.

There will also be 14 venues hosting games, rather than 12 which was originally stated in the bid, and the minimum capacity for a stadium will be 12,000.

That unfortunately rules out the likes of the 10,000-strong Derwent Park in Workington, Cumbria, that hosted two matches in the 2013 World Cup and one game in the 2016 Four Nations.

However, 80-percent of matches will be held in the sport’s northern heartland.

Nigel Wood told the people in attendance at the launch event: “We’re getting in early, meeting the decision-makers of this region, the decision-makers of Leeds and Yorkshire and the decision-makers of London over the next three days,”

“One of the things we made a point of saying after 2013 was that before a ball is kicked in the 2017 World Cup, we’d make known where the World Cup would be played in 2021 and indeed in 2025.”

Also in 2021, the Women’s Rugby League World Cup and Wheelchair Rugby League World Cup will be played at the same time.