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World Cup thunders into city stadium.

Byline: CHRIS KNIGHT Reporter christopher.knight@ncjmedia.co.uk

KINGSTON Park Stadium in Newcastle has been confirmed as the final stadium to host Rugby League World Cup 2021 fixtures.

The home of Newcastle Thunder and Newcastle Falcons will replace West Cumbria's Allerdale stadium following the council's decision to withdraw its bid to host matches.

Kingston Park Stadium will host three men's fixtures in 2021 to add another North East venue to the tournament.

The 10,200-capacity venue opened its doors in 1990, and has been the home of Newcastle Thunder since 2015.

St James' Park will hold the opening ceremony followed by England men's first fixture, and a further men's game will take place at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough.

Jon Dutton, chief executive of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, said: "We are very pleased to be able to confirm Kingston Park as a host venue for our event in 2021.

"Newcastle is already playing a critical part in the tournament and we are delighted to add a further three highprofile matches in the city.

"Given the disappointing news regarding the withdrawal of Allerdale, we wanted to ensure that the replacement venue was within reach of West Cumbria, whilst also offering rugby league and sports fans the opportunity to have a broader offer in Newcastle that will add to an already exciting opening weekend".

The Rugby League World Cup is the most highprofile event in the sport of rugby league, globally contested every four years.

England 2021 will be a momentous occasion in the tournament's history with the men's, women's and wheelchair rugby league being staged together for the first time.

Councillor Nick Forbes, leader at Newcastle City Council, said: "I am thrilled to announce that Newcastle will host an additional three Rugby League World Cup games in 2021 at the Kingston Park stadium.

"The city will play a huge role in this unmissable tournament with St James' Park hosting the opening ceremony and England's first match followed by these matches at Kingston Park.

"Newcastle is building a growing reputation as a city that can host huge events, this year we have welcomed 100,000 visitors for the Heineken Cup Challenge and Champions Cup Finals and inspirational athletes from across the globe competing in the World Transplant Games.

"I look forward to once again showcasing what Newcastle is all about, our friendly Geordie welcome, vibrant city centre and unrivalled passion for sport."

" Newcastle Rugby executive director and Thunder chairman Mick Hogan, added: "s fantastic news that Kingston Park Stadium has been chosen to host these three prestigious games.

"The venue has been home to Newcastle Thunder for five seasons now and also regularly hosts community games, student matches and representative rugby league events. With Newcastle now hosting four matches in the Men's Tournament, as well as the opening ceremony, the city will play huge part in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

"Kingston Park Stadium has tremendous supporter and corporate facilities and we look forward to welcoming three capacity crowds and showing the rugby league community our famous Geordie welcome."

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Kingston Park and England hooker Josh Hodgson

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Aug 29, 2019
Words:520
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