COOK Islands will be returning to Leigh Sports Village to play in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Their clash with Wales will be the first of three group games to grace the LSV turf in what is being billed as 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.

While Cook Islands featured at the LSV in the 2013 World Cup when they faced Tonga, Lebanon will be making their debut in the borough as they have two games scheduled in Leigh.

They will be against Ireland and Jamaica, and will be based in the Wigan and Leigh borough as previously announced.

Leader of Wigan Council, Councillor David Molyneux, said: "We're absolutely thrilled with this line-up and we can’t wait to give the teams a warm welcome when they arrive next year.

"I'm sure many of our residents will be looking forward to seeing them in action next year and will be cheering them on from the sidelines."


Wales vs Cook Islands (men's) - Leigh Sports Village (Wednesday 27th October) - 7.30pm

Lebanon vs Ireland (men's) - Leigh Sports Village (Sunday 31st October) - 2.30pm

Lebanon vs Jamaica (men's) - Leigh Sports Village (Sunday 7th November) - noon

England kick-off the tournament against Samoa in Newcastle on Saturday, October 23.

The hosts will also play France in Bolton on October 30 and Greece at Sheffield's Bramhall Lane on November 6.

The final is at Old Trafford on Saturday, November 27.

The women's tournament will see group games in Leeds and York with the final on the same day as the men's event at Old Trafford.

While the wheelchair group matches and semi-finals will be in Sheffield before the final in Liverpool.

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.

"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."

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 is now confirmed and available to view at

How do I get tickets?

On October 23, a year to go until the groundbreaking tournament, the public ticket ballot will open, with fans able to apply for tickets at all 61 fixtures.

Any remaining tickets will then go on general sale in early 2021.