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Kangaroos and Jillaroos set to play at iconic English stadiums

The Kangaroos and Jillaroos are set to be based in Leeds for the 2021 World Cup and could play at some of England's most iconic football stadiums after venues for the 16-nation tournament were announced.

Manchester United's Old Trafford, Arsenal's Emirates Stadium, Leeds United's home ground, Elland Road, Liverpool's Anfield, Newcastle's St James Park and Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium are among 21 venues that will host men's, women's and wheelchair World Cup games.

While only England's matches have been confirmed so far, Australia are expected to open their defence of the Paul Barrie`re Trophy at the Emerald Headingley Stadium and are likely to play another pool match at Middlesbrough FC's 34,000 seat Riverside Stadium.

Assuming all goes to plan for the Kangaroos, they would be aiming to play in the semi-final at Elland Road and final at Old Trafford, which will host the men's and women's deciders as a double-header.

The Jillaroos are also set to play at Emerald Headingley and York Community Stadium, which will host both semi-finals of the eight-nation women's World Cup, while the opening game will be at Anfield, which is also the venue for a men's quarter-final.

The opening match of the men's tournament will be played at St James Park and feature England, who will also play pool matches at Sheffield FC's Bramall Lane and University of Bolton Stadium.

England have been pencilled in for the quarter-final at Anfield and a semi-final at Emirates Stadium in London, which will be the first time any sport besides soccer has been played at Arsenal's 60,000-seat home ground.

Jillaroos players celebrate their Women's Rugby League World Cup win.
Jillaroos players celebrate their Women's Rugby League World Cup win. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos

The other quarter-final venues are Hull's KCOM Stadium, University of Bolton Stadium and John Smith's Stadium, which is the home of Aaron Mooy's Huddersfield Town FC as well as Super League's Huddersfield Giants.

Emerald Headingley (Leeds Rhinos), Halliwell Jones Stadium (Warrington Wolves) and Totally Wicked Stadium (St Helens) are other Super League venues awarded World Cup matches.

All three will host three matches, with New Zealand also likely to play at Emerald Headingley, as will Leigh Sports Village, Club Doncaster and Workington Community Stadium. A pool match will also be played at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

The 2021 World Cup will feature four pools of four teams, with Australia, England, New Zealand and Tonga to be the top-seeded team in each of the pools.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Lebanon were also given automatic entry after making the quarter-finals of the 2017 World Cup, while France, Wales and Jamaica have since qualified.

The remaining five places will be determined later this year, with four spots coming from the final European qualifying tournament featuring Ireland, Italy, Russia, Scotland, Spain and the winner of a play-off between Greece and Norway in London on May 18.

A play-off between the United States and Cook Islands will decide the 16th team. The draw will be finalised on November 27.

Liverpool's M&S Bank Arena will be the venue for the final of the wheelchair World Cup, which will be played concurrently with the men's and women's tournaments for the first time.

Men's World Cup: 

St James Park, Newcastle (opening ceremony); Emerald Headingley, Leeds (3 matches); Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough; University of Bolton Stadium; Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens (3); KCOM Stadium, Hull; Bramall Lane, Sheffield; Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington (3); Leigh Sports Village (3); Ricoh Arena, Coventry; Club Doncaster (3); Workington Community Stadium (3).

Quarter-finals: Anfield, Liverpool; University of Bolton Stadium; John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield; KCOM Stadium, Hull.

Semi-finals: Emirates Stadium, London; Elland Road, Leeds.

Final: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Women's World Cup:

Anfield, Liverpool (opening ceremony); Emerald Headingley, Leeds (2 matches).

Semi-finals: York Community Stadium

Final: Old Trafford, Manchester.

Wheelchair World Cup

Copper Box Arena, London; EIS Sheffield.

Semi-finals: EIS Sheffield

Final: M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool

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