The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham will play host to two games at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup it was announced today.
The ground, which is officially recognised as the world’s oldest international football stadium, will host a quarter final and group stage match in the event.
Wrexham will also host a team base camp and training venue.
The Rugby League International Federation announced the news this morning as part of the venue launch in Salford, the event is to be staged across four countries in total.
After submitting a strong bid, Wrexham beat off stiff competition from rival applications across the country with 34 made in total to stage matches in the 14-nation tournament.
18 venues across England, Wales, Ireland and France were announced for the group stages and quarter-finals of the tournament at a press conference at Salford’s MediaCityUK.
They include Avignon and Perpignan in France and Limerick’s Thomond Park, a rugby union stronghold which earlier this month drew a 3,000-plus crowd for its first rugby league fixture.
Wrexham’s bid, under the banner “Bringing Rugby League to Life”, received the backing of a number of big names including Wales coach Iestyn Harris and was praised by members of the Rugby League World Cup Committee
Today’s announcement officially begins the two year countdown to the biggest Rugby League tournament in history.
2013 Rugby League World Cup Tournament Director Nigel Wood said:
“I would like to congratulate Wrexham who have been successful in their bid to host matches in what I am confident will be a World Cup that enhances the UK’s golden decade of sport.
“We experienced massive interest in hosting matches from all across Europe and the bidding process proved to be hugely competitive.
“In putting together their bid over the last 12 months, Wrexham have demonstrated a level of commitment that gives us confidence that the 2013 Rugby League World Cup will exceed everyone’s expectations.
“It has been a fantastic and inspiring bidding process and we have been extremely impressed with the quality, detail and diverse nature of the host bids received.”
Cllr Bob Dutton, OBE, Lead Member for Communities and Performance said:
“The 2013 Rugby League World Cup is coming to Wrexham and this is fantastic news for the region.
“Wrexham has played host too many top class international sporting events in the past and we look forward to adding the 2013 Rugby League World Cup to that list.
“Wrexham submitted a very strong bid that put an emphasis on community engagement and creating a legacy for rugby league in North Wales. This was a real collaborative effort between Wrexham Council, Glyndwr University and various community organizations and is an excellent example of what partnership working can achieve.
“We have an exciting line up of events planned in the build up to the competition and we want everyone to feel part of this massive occasion. I would like to congratulate everyone for all their hard work on the bid and I am thrilled that Wrexham will be part of the biggest rugby league tournament in history.”