The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will be staged in four countries with matches played across an exciting spectrum of venues in England, Wales, Ireland and France, the RFL has announced today.
The group stages and quarter-finals of the 14-team tournament will see the world's best international teams hosted in venues from Wrexham to Perpignan in southern France and Bristol to Limerick in Ireland's south west.
Today's announcement outlines 18 different venues which will stage matches and reveals six other venues which will host teams during the tournament. Details of the venues for the opening ceremony, the semi-finals and the final will be confirmed early in the New Year.
2013 Rugby League World Cup Tournament Director Nigel Wood said: "I would like to congratulate all the hosts who have been successful in their bids to host matches or teams 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 bids over the last 12 months, the successful candidates have demonstrated a level of commitment which suggests the 2013 Rugby League World Cup can 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.
"We have had to make some tough decisions, but we are absolutely delighted to award each of the 22 successful candidates a Host Mark for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
"We are excited that the tournament will visit established world class Rugby League venues, but will also visit some new locations, including Bristol and Whitehaven, where we see unique opportunities to grow the game and for the 2013 tournament to deliver a lasting legacy for our sport.
"Following some excellent bids, we have also taken the decision to include tournament hosts from France and Ireland, for selected group games. We believe the inclusion of Limerick, Avignon and Perpignan will continue the international development of the game and ensure the 2013 Rugby League World Cup is the most successful in the competition's history."
The RFL plans to make further announcements in the New Year (2012), including the fixtures for the tournament, opening ceremony, semi-finals and final venue locations in England and Wales.
A total of 34 bids, comprising 30 stadia, 47 team training sites and 87 team base camps, were submitted to the RFL. Each of the bidding hosts underwent a detailed inspection from a 2013 team to examine the various sites venue specifications, as well as evaluating the enthusiasm and commitment of each bidding host.
Upwards of half a million people are expected to watch the 28 matches live over a six-week period in the autumn of 2013 with a further 20 million viewers from 120 countries tuning in around the world.
The following venues will host matches in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup:
Avignon -The Parc des Sports Stadium will host a group match.
Bristol - The Memorial Ground will stage a group match with the city also hosting a team base camp. Filton College will be used as a team training venue.
Calderdale - The Shay Stadium in Halifax will host a group match.
Copeland - The new Pow Beck Stadium in Whitehaven will host group matches with the Cumbria Sports Academy being used as a team training venue.
Hull - Both the KC Stadium and Craven Park will host group matches with the city also hosting two team base camps and team training venues.
Kirklees -The Galpharm Stadium will host a group match.
Leeds - Headingley Carnegie Stadium will host a group match and a quarter-final with two teams setting up team base camps in the city along with a team training venue being utilised.
Limerick - Thomond Park will host a group match.
Perpignan - The Stade Gilbert Brutus will host a group match.
Neath - The Gnoll will host a group match.
Rochdale - Spotland Stadium will host a group match.
Salford -The new City of Salford Stadium will host a group match and the city will also host a team base camp.
St Helens -The new Langtree Park Stadium will host a group match.
Warrington -The Halliwell Jones Stadium will host a group match and quarter-final. The town will also host a team base camp and the University of Chester will be used as a team training venue.
Wigan -The Leigh Sports Village will host a group match and will be used as a training venue. The DW Stadium will host a quarter-final.
Wrexham -The Glynd?r University Racecourse Stadium will host a group match and a quarter final. Wrexham will also host a team base camp and training venue.
The following venues will host teams during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup:
Allerdale - Workington will host a team base camp.
Bolton - Bolton will be a team base camp with Bolton Arena's facilities used as a team training venue.
Bradford -The Bulls Tong High School facilities in Bradford will be used as a team training venue.
Halton - Widnes will host a team base camp and the Stobart Stadium will be a training venue. Due to synthetic turf pitches not being sanctioned by the Rugby League International Federation the stadium is not allowed to stage a match.
Manchester - Manchester will host a team base camp and will also provide a team training venue.
Preston - The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will provide team training facilities at UCLan Sports Arena with Preston also hosting a team base camp.