Officials have announced the full list of match venues and published the match schedule for the Rugby League World Cup, to be held in England in 2015.
The 13 match venues and host cities selected include Twickenham, Wembley Stadium, and the Olympic Stadium, all in London, while the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will also be called into action.
Manchester City Stadium, St James’ Park in Newcastle, Elland Road in Leeds, Leicester City Stadium, Villa Park in Birmingham will also host matches, alongside, Kingsholm Stadium in Gloucester, stadiummk, Brighton Community Stadium and Sandy Park in Exeter.
Taking the Game to ten cities across the country enables tournament organiser England Rugby 2015 to showcase the game to a large audience across the length and breadth of the country.
The match schedule will see 25 matches played in dedicated Rugby venues, seven in multi-event stadia and 16 in football venues.
This blend of stadia will provide a variety of Rugby World Cup match day experiences and more than two million opportunities for fans to engage with one of the world’s most recognisable major sports events, organisers said.
The tournament will open at Twickenham Stadium on Friday, September 18th, 2015, where England will face Oceania 1, confirmed at the close of the qualification process in 2014.
In addition to a selection of pool matches, Twickenham Stadium will also host two quarter-finals, the semi-finals and the Final on October 31st.
Two quarter-finals will also be played in Cardiff at the Millennium Stadium and the Bronze Final will be hosted at the Olympic Stadium.
Confirmation of the match venues and match schedule follows approval from the Rugby World Cup Board and an extensive and thorough evaluation process, undertaken by England Rugby 2015 in collaboration with tournament owners RWCL, Host Broadcaster ITV and commercial stakeholders.
The 13 match venues selected from the long list of 17 named in October 2012, plus Sandy Park added last month and the Manchester City Stadium which replaces Old Trafford, took into account geographical spread, sporting and facilities criteria, support from host cities, and capacity requirements to deliver the best possible platform for a fully engaging world-class tournament for fans and teams.
England Rugby 2015 chief executive Debbie Jevans said: “The world can now start planning for Rugby World Cup 2015.
“Today, we’ve brought the tournament to life, announcing the match venues and the full match schedule.
“In less than two and a half years time, we will be welcoming the world to England and to a celebration of Rugby, played in a range of atmospheric stadiums right across the country.”