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Kangaroos to be united in Manchester: World Cup team bases announced

The Kangaroos will be based in Manchester for next year's World Cup, along with hosts England - the team they beat in the 2017 final.

With 500 days to go until the opening fixture between England and Samoa at Newcastle's St James' Park on October 23, 2021, World Cup organisers scheduled a series of staggered announcements of the city where each of the 16 men's, eight women's and eight wheelchair teams will be based.

Mal Meninga's Kangaroos will be hoping their stay in Manchester is as long as possible, with the final of the men's and women's tournaments taking place as a double header at Old Trafford on November 27, 2021.

Australia regained the Paul Barrie're Trophy from New Zealand at Old Trafford in 2013 and are the defending men's and women's champions after the Kangaroos and Jillaroos won the finals of the 2017 World Cup at Suncorp Stadium.

The Kangaroos have been drawn to play Fiji, Italy and Scotland, while the Kiwis face Ireland, Jamaica and Lebanon.

English forward John Bateman hits it up in the 2017 World Cup final.
English forward John Bateman hits it up in the 2017 World Cup final. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photos

Tonga, who will be based in Liverpool, meet Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea and Wales, while hosts England play France, Greece and Samoa.

The squads from the 21 nations and 32 teams will be based in different locations.

The full list of host towns and cities for the men's teams is:

  • Bolton – France; 
  • Doncaster – Samoa;
  • Hull – Fiji;
  • Leeds – Jamaica, Ireland;
  • Liverpool and St Helen’s – Tonga, Italy;
  • Manchester – England, Australia;
  • Newcastle – Scotland;
  • Preston – Wales;
  • Sheffield – Greece;
  • Tees Valley – Cook Islands;
  • Warrington – Papua New Guinea;
  • Wigan/Leigh – Lebanon;
  • York – New Zealand
Jillaroos centre Jess Sergis.
Jillaroos centre Jess Sergis. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

The Jillaroos will be based in York, along with the New Zealand, France and Cook Islands women's teams.

Australia, New Zealand, France and the Cook Islands are in Pool B of the women's tournament, with England, Brazil, Canada and Papua New Guinea In Pool A. The nations in Pool B will be based in Leeds.

Queensland celebrate winning the 2019 State of Origin against NSW.
Queensland celebrate winning the 2019 State of Origin against NSW. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

Australia's Wheelaroos will be based in London, along with England, Norway, Spain.

France, Wales, Scotland and USA wheelchair teams will be based in Sheffield.

All the host cities and towns, including those who won’t be a dedicated team base (Coventry and Kirklees), will form a huge part of making the tournament a success.

Players from around the world will be welcomed by local residents and adopted as their own, as they get behind the teams and cheer them when the World Cup kicks off in 500 days.

Fixtures for all three tournaments will be announced in coming months.