Rugby League World Cup 2021 tournament organisers have revealed the much-anticipated fixture schedule for what promises to be the biggest and best World Cup in the history of the sport, as the men’s, women’s and wheelchair teams all compete at the same time in a major sporting first.
Newcastle will be hosting four fixtures across two venues, starting off with the opening match of the tournament, England vs Samoa at St James' Park.
The full fixture list for Newcastle is as follows:
England vs Samoa (men's) - St James' Park (Saturday October 23) - 14:30.
Scotland vs Italy (men's) - Kingston Park Stadium (Sunday October 24) - 14:30.
Fiji vs Italy (men's) - Kingston Park Stadium (Saturday October 30) - 14:30.
Fiji vs Scotland (men's) - Kingston Park Stadium (Saturday November 6) - 17:00.
In June, it was revealed that Newcastle will be the team training base for Scotland's men's team.
Jon Dutton, RLWC2021 chief executive, said: “This is a huge moment for the tournament and for fans in our host cities and towns, as we reveal the full fixture schedule.
"The tournament has been gaining momentum over recent months and fans can now look forward to being part of this unique global event. With match dates and locations confirmed, the excitement will only intensify.
"RLWC2021 will bring together the very best that the sport has to offer, and you can see from the schedule that there is no end of world class, not-to-be-missed matches across all three tournaments.
"It Is an exciting day for all our rugby league fans and communities across England who will be proud and brilliant hosts to the travelling nations, as together we deliver the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup to date."
Mick Hogan, chairman of Newcastle Thunder who play at Kingston Park Stadium, where three of the four Newcastle matches will be played, said: "It is fantastic news that our city will play such a prominent role in next year's Rugby League World Cup.
"The fact that the tournament opens in Newcastle with the England versus Samoa game at what will be a packed St James' Park is a huge boost to the sport in the region.
"The next day will see the first of three huge matches at Kingston Park Stadium, with the semi-finalists from the last three tournaments, Fiji, as well as Italy and Scotland all playing twice in Newcastle.
"Newcastle has proven time after time that we know how to stage major rugby events, and do so in style. The 2021 Rugby League World Cup will be no different as we look to stage a huge celebration of the sport of rugby league, and show the world our famous Geordie welcome and hospitality."
Councillor Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and culture said: “Today’s fixture announcement is the next big milestone as Newcastle gets ready to kick off the Rugby League World Cup next year.
“Whilst many events this year had to be cancelled due to the pandemic we have seen no shortage of partners and world-class events who want to return to Newcastle next year, showing great confidence in our ability to put on a show and the incredible reputation our great city has built.
“For three weekends next autumn the eyes of the sporting world will be on Newcastle, and I am looking forward to welcoming visitors from across the globe to our city.
"We will make sure the tournament starts with a bright, dazzling display during the opening ceremony at St James’ Park ahead of England’s first game before the action moves to the excellent Kingston Park Stadium for some more hard hitting action featuring Scotland – a team we are proud to be hosting in Newcastle for the duration of the tournament.”
With 61 fixtures over a six-week period, the tournament will showcase a festival of world class sporting action.
The dates, venues and kick-off times for each of the three tournaments are now confirmed, and are available to view at www.RLWC2021.com .
Please visit www.RLWC2021.com for more information, for details on how to sign up to receive ticket alerts and receive all the latest news first.