Getting to know our World Cup teams

Jamaica line up for their national an them.

The fixtures to be played at Emerald Headingley in the Rugby League World Cup 2021 have been confirmed with Jamaica, Ireland and New Zealand all playing two games each at the home of the Rhinos in the mens game whilst the stadium also has the honour of kicking off the biggest ever Womens World Cup as well with Brazil making their bow against hosts England.

It was announced earlier this year that Leeds will host six teams during the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and now the exciting list of fixtures has been confirmed.

To get you in the mood, we have given a quick recap of all the teams you can see in action.

Jamaica (Men’s) 

– Nickname: ‘The Reggae Warriors’ 

– Jamaican Rugby League Association was established in 2004 

– Beat USA in November 2017 to qualify for the RLWC2021 

The Reggae Warriors are no strangers to Emerald Headingley having played England Knights at the Rhinos home in the Autumn of 2019 in front of a crowd of over 7,000. Familiar faces in the Jamaica squad include former Rhino Ashton Golding, who is now playing at Huddersfield Giants, and Ben Jones-Bishop, a two time Grand Final winner with the Rhinos. Rhinos Assistant coach Chev Walker is on the coaching staff with Jamaica too.

Ireland (Men’s)  

– Ireland played their first International fixture in 1995, beating USA 24-22 

– Known as the ‘Wolfhounds’ 

– RLWC2021 will be their 5th World Cup appearance 

Ireland are well remembered at Emerald Headingley for the epic World Cup Quarter Final clash with England back in 2000, which was played in front of a capacity crowd. The Ireland squad at the last World Cup included two former Leeds Rhinos players in Brad Singleton and Anthony Mullally.

New Zealand Kiwis (Men’s)

– Known as the Kiwis

– Three times winners of the World Cup, the last coming in 2017

– Currently ranked number one team in the world

Former World Cup winners New Zealand return to Emerald Headingley to continue the link that goes back to the first ever Test match back in 1908 when the New Zealand All Golds took on the Northern Union.

The Kiwis played at Emerald Headingley twice in the 2013 World Cup against Papua New Guinea and Scotland and will return in 2021 to face Jamaica and Ireland.

England (Women’s) 

– Known as the ‘Lionesses’ 

– RLWC2021 semi-finalists 

– Currently the 3rd ranked women’s team in the world

The England squad is set to include a host of Leeds Rhinos players when it comes around to the World Cup in 2021 with twelve Rhinos players included in the 29-player England Women Performance Squad (EWPS) alongside a 10-player England Women Knights Performance Squad (EWKPS) for 2020. Former Rhinos Womens Head Coach Adam Cuthbertson is also assistant with the national team.  

Papua New Guinea (Women’s) 

– Known as ‘The Orchids’ 

– RLWC2021 will be their 2nd World Cup appearance 

– Were the focus of the ‘Power Meri’ documentary, outlining the team’s route to RLWC2017 

The Orchids are one of the most exciting teams in world Rugby League at present. The team represent the Rugby League mad nation of Papua New Guinea and recorded their first ever Test win last Autumn against England in Port Moresby.

Brazil (Women’s)  

– Winners of the South American Cup In 2018 with a 48-0 victory over Argentina 

– RLWC2021 will be their first world cup appearance 

– Former Leeds Academy player and Huddersfield and Salford centre, Matt Gardner is the coach  

– Known as ‘The Amazonas’ 

Brazil will kick off the Women’s World Cup at Emerald Headingley on day that will see Rugby League history made. Rhinos Womens Head Coach Lois Forsell went to Brazil in 2019 to find out how the preparations were going for their debut on the global stage and recently did a podcast with the coaching team to find out how the team is progressing.

Canada (Women’s) 

– Known as the Canadian Ravens 

– Made it to the semi-final of the Rugby League World Cup 2017, before losing out to eventual winners Australia.  

Canada and Rugby League is one of the hottest tickets in town with the arrival of Toronto Wolfpack into Super League this season and now the nation’s women will get to show English fans what they are capable of.