Newcastle launch ambitious bid to be host city for next World Cup

Newcastle want to host England and Scotland games on the opening weekend of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

It puts both St James’ Park and Kingston Park forward as host venues for fixtures alongside the new Eagles Community Arena in Elswick for staging games in the Wheelchair RL competition.

Newcastle’s ambitions to be a host location have already passed the first stage of assessment, making it through to a shortlist of 28 cities under consideration, with a final decision on where the games will be played expected later this year.

Newcastle has requested that it would like to be considered to host England in the opening game of the tournament at St James’ Park.

Plans have also been put forward to stage a second game in the city on the same weekend at Kingston Park, with Scotland being proposed as being one of the teams taking part.

Around these two games, the city would stage a series of events involving an opening ceremony, fan zone, a festival of rugby league as well as other city animation, cultural and civic occasions.

Cllr Kim McGuiness, cabinet member for culture, sport and public health at Newcastle City Council, said: “It’s wonderful news that our bid to host Rugby League World Cup matches in Newcastle in 2021 has been shortlisted.

“Newcastle has built a national reputation as a rugby-loving city which welcomes back fans, again and again, a reputation built off the back of our famous friendly welcome and sporting pride. The Rugby League World Cup is the perfect opportunity to put our city on the global stage. We know from events such as the Magic Weekend or the Great Exhibition of the North that we can offer a welcome like no other in an atmosphere that is unrivalled

“But we also know that, just like Rugby League, we are a city in which everyone has their chance to take part and enjoy.

“We want these to be games which reach out into all communities in our city and make it a success everyone takes pride in.”

RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said: “It is another significant milestone in our journey ahead of what will be the biggest and best ever RLWC in history.

“We’ve been delighted with not just the quantity but the quality of the applications we have received.

“It’s been great to see the various public “Back the Bid” campaigns across the country which has shown what it means to communities to be a host at RLWC2021.

“The next stage is for us go through each and every bid in detail to allow us to make the best possible decisions for the tournament – this journey will include site visits and further conversations in the next few months before we reveal the outcomes early next year.”

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