This autumn it’s all happening in Warrington as the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2021) returns to the Halliwell Jones Stadium. Home to Warrington Wolves, already a powerhouse of rugby league who inspire a lot of local pride, Warrington is preparing to welcome the world in four men’s RLWC fixtures including the men’s quarter final throughout October and November. RLWC marks a welcome return to international sport in the town, with the tournament having to be rescheduled last year due to the pandemic.

And it’s not just the men’s fixtures that are energising the town and the county more broadly: Warrington is a national leader in physical disability rugby league (PDRL) and will be hosting an international PDRL showcase to coincide with RLWC2021.The town is getting fully involved with the tournament through a host of events, activities and more. While you may or may not be familiar with rugby league, this is a hugely exciting moment for Cheshire and a chance to experience some world class sport on your doorstep.

What’s in store this year for Warrington

Papua New Guinea players

The Halliwell Jones Stadium will be buzzing with excitement across the four men’s fixtures starting on Sunday 16 October with New Zealand v Lebanon followed by Papua New Guinea v Cook Islands on Tuesday 25 October, Samoa v France on Sunday 30 October, and the men’s quarter final on Sunday 6 November. Warrington is also playing host to the Papua New Guinea men’s team. Known as the Kumuls, or ‘birds of paradise’ (that are native to Papua New Guinea) the team will reside and train in Warrington until the quarter finals stage.

And the town is already eagerly awaiting the tournament. RLWC is an opportunity for community engagement and social impact and Warrington has already seen benefits. Warrington has built a fantastic new 3G pitch used for rugby league at Victoria Park with a funding contribution from the RLWC Created By Fund. Local community rugby league and sports clubs have also seen investments from the Created By fund into grassroots sport in Warrington communities.

Visitors to the town will see the artwork of local children from the rugby ball design competition and local schools have been involved with their own Rugby League festival week. As well as the artwork by young people in the town dressing, there will also be a display of artwork by local college students on the RLWC theme of the “Power of Together” in Warrington’s market. Residents and visitors to Warrington can even enjoy new orienteering and cycle trails themed around the tournament in Victoria Park and the Sankey Valley.

Warrington will be hosting the national Women in Rugby League Heritage display at Golden Square, launching 17 September with a day of activities within the square. There will be a number of events in the town during the world cup itself, so make sure to visit warrington.gov.uk/rugby-league-world-cup-2021 and follow @WtonRlwc21 on Twitter and Facebook as well as @WarringtonRLWC2021 on Instagram.

Physical Disability Rugby League Showcase

Credit Joe Richardson, Warrington Wolves

A major milestone for the physical disability game, there’s also the PDRL showcase which will see England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand compete from 23 – 30 October at Warrington’s new 3G facility at Victoria Park with the final being held at the Halliwell Jones Stadium on 30 October following the Samoa v France game.

In July a highly successful comedy fundraiser was held at Walton Hall and Gardens. Hosted by the Warrington Disability Partnership as part of Disability Awareness Week all funds are going towards the PDRL world cup tournament in Warrington including supporting the players whilst in town. 

And famous faces are getting involved, too. Adam Hills, host of The Last Leg who is a PDRL player, RLWC2021 ambassador and Warrington Wolves fan, has expressed his excitement for the tournament saying that he’s ‘been looking forward to playing in the PDRL World Cup for a long time’ and that ‘to have the tournament in this country and as part of the RLWC2021 is a brilliant opportunity to really raise the profile of this fantastic game, and hopefully encourage more people with a physical disability to get involved.’ Hills will be representing Australia in the PDRL showcase with the initial fixtures matching Australia against England and New Zealand against Wales.

Stay and Play in Warrington

The Rugby League World Cup’s return to Warrington is as good an excuse as any to explore the town. Tickets start from just £20 and promise to be a great option for the family this autumn. And whilst in Warrington there’s plenty to do whether you’re local and visiting for the day or coming for a longer stay.

Warrington Market

The centrepiece of Warrington’s Time Square development which includes a wide range of restaurants and activities, Warrington’s award-winning market is a must visit when you’re in the area for the tournament. The market is home to over 50 independent traders with the Cookhouse being a major draw with a wide range of independent food stands cooking up everything from vegan junk food to pizza and Thai. There are also a range of pop-up markets and events around the area so there’s often something special going on.

Cookhouse at Warrington Market

Stockton Heath

Not far from the town centre there’s Stockton Heath. This pretty suburb is full of bars, restaurants, and independent shops. If you’re looking for a meal after the match, Stockton Heath is a great option with a wide variety with everything from Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza to Mediterranean cuisine from Olive Tree Brasserie

Rudy's Stockton Heath

Pyramid and Parr Hall

If you’re in the area for the tournament, make sure to check what’s on at Pyramid and Parr Hall. There’s a packed calendar of events including live music, performances and exhibitions, so if you are looking for some post-match entertainment this is the place to go.

Credit We Are Warrington BID

Warrington Museum & Art Gallery

Another Warrington cultural gem, the Museum & Art Gallery is worth a visit. Built in 1857 and one of the oldest museums in the country, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery is home to thousands of fascinating exhibits including works of art, an Ancient Egyptian mummy, dinosaurs and more. The museum also provides an award-winning programme of events and temporary exhibitions, in addition to free family-friendly craft activities. With free admission Wednesday – Sunday, it’s a great way to explore Warrington’s cultural scene.

Fiddlers Ferry Exhibition

Gulliver’s World

If you’re bringing younger fans to the tournament, they may appreciate a visit to Gulliver’s World. Aimed at families with kids aged 2-13, this is a firm favourite Cheshire family attraction. There’s a range of rides and shows designed just for children. This is a great way to introduce the kids to rugby league and keep them entertained.

Antelope at Gulliver's

Walton Hall & Gardens

And if you want to explore some gorgeous green space, Walton Hall & Gardens is just a stone’s throw away from the town centre. On the grounds of the former home of Lord and Lady Daresbury, there’s a wide range of things to do including trails around the estate, children’s zoo, play area, adventure golf and pitch ‘n’ put as well as the gardens themselves. You just need to pay for parking if you’re travelling by car and entry is free.

Walton Hall & Gardens

If you want to find out more about the Rugby League World Cup in Warrington including inspiration and ideas around the tournament, make sure to go to our RLWC2021 homepage for all your inspiration.

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Warrington is welcoming the world for the Rugby League World Cup 2021 with four fixtures at the Halliwell Jones Stadium this October and November.

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