The 2013 Rugby League World Cup will be the fourteenth staging of the Rugby League World Cup tournament and will be hosted by England and Wales with matches also be to held in France and Ireland. It runs from 26 October to 30 November 2013. Fourteen teams will contest the tournament: Australia, England, New Zealand, Samoa, Wales, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Cook Islands, Italy and the United States. New Zealand are the defending champions, having defeated Australia in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup final. It is Italy and the United States' first World Cup.
The Rugby League International Federation has confirmed this competition as a part of its international programme. The RLIF announced a five-year plan to build up to the 2013 World Cup with the Four Nations tournament to be held in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is hoped that more regular international competition will help develop the game. The competition will form a part of the UK's "Golden Decade of Sport". 2013 was chosen as the year of the World Cup to avoid a clash with the London Olympics in 2012. After 2013, the Cup will be held on a quadrennial cycle.
In addition to the United Kingdom, Australia announced its intention to bid for the hosting rights, despite hosting the previous World Cup in 2008. The Australian Rugby League had been preparing a rival bid due to the success of the 2008 event but the business plan presented by the Rugby Football League for the UK to be the host was accepted by the RLIF at a meeting in July 2009. The event forms part of what is being dubbed a 'Golden Decade' in British Sport.
The UK last hosted the World Cup in 2000, with the event generally being considered unsuccessful.
The draw, undertaken at the launch of the event in Manchester on 30 November 2010, involved four groups The first two groups are made up of four teams whilst the other two groups feature three teams each. There will be a quarter final round made up of the first three teams in the first two groups and the winners of each of the smaller groups. Group play will involve a round robin in the larger groups, and a round robin in the smaller groups with an additional inter-group game for each team so all teams will play three group games.
The competition will contain fourteen teams, compared to ten in 2008. Originally around twenty teams were to be involved in qualification, but subsequently the total number of teams involved in the tournament was fixed at nineteen.
The home nations will compete separately again as England, Scotland and Wales. Twelve nations will automatically qualify, including those who competed at the previous World Cup, Wales as winners of the 2009 European Nations Cup and the Cook Islands as runners up in the 2009 Pacific Cup.
There were two qualifying pools for the remaining two World Cup places; a European and an Atlantic pool, with one side from each to qualify.
The European Qualifying group involved Italy, Lebanon, Russia and Serbia while the Atlantic Qualifying group involved Jamaica, South Africa and the USA. In the Atlantic Qualifiers the United States and Jamaica defeated South Africa in the opening rounds leaving the final match between the two to determine who qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. United States defeated Jamaica to qualify for their first ever Rugby League World Cup.
- Qualifying Pool One (Europe)
- Qualifying Pool Two (Atlantic)
The games will be played at various venues in England, Wales, Ireland, and France, with the Millennium Stadium set to host at least one high profile match.
All matches are currently subject to a bidding process run by the Rugby Football League.
It is believed that Millennium Stadium in Cardiff will be announced as a host stadium when the venues for the opening ceremony, semi finals, and final are announced in the New Year.
- Parc de Sports Stadium in Avignon, France.
- Memorial Stadium in Bristol, England.
- The Shay in Halifax, England.
- KC Stadium and Craven Park in Hull, England.
- John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield, England.
- Headingley Stadium in Leeds will host a group match and a quarter final.
- Leigh Sports Village in Leigh, England.
- Thomond Park in Limerick, Ireland.
- Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan, France.
- The Gnoll in Neath, Wales.
- Spotland Stadium in Rochdale, England - Has requested that a Fiji Game be played
- Salford City Stadium in Salford, England.
- Langtree Park in St Helens.
- Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington, England.
- DW Stadium in Wigan will host a quarter final.
- The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham, Wales will host a group match and quarter final.
- Wembley Stadium in London, England will host the semi finals as a double header.
- Old Trafford in Manchester, England will host the final.
- Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales will host the opening two matches, as a double header.
- Derwent Park in Workington, England will now host 2 of Scotland's group matches, in place of Whitehaven (see below). 
The following stadia, in conjunction with local councils and in some cases with local rugby league clubs, submitted (so far) unsuccessful applications to host World Cup games.
Pow Beck Stadium in Whitehaven, England was scheduled to host two games, but the developers cannot guarantee that it will be built in time, so will no longer host any matches 
Location of venues
|Wembley||John Smith's Stadium||Old Trafford||Millennium Stadium|
|Capacity: 90,000||Capacity: 24,500||Capacity: 76,212||Capacity: 74,500|
|Parc des Sports (Avignon)||Memorial Stadium||Leigh Sports Village||Thomond Park|
|Capacity: 17,518||Capacity: 12,100||Capacity: 11,000||Capacity: 26,500|
|The Shay||KC Stadium||Stade Gilbert Brutus||Derwent Park|
|Capacity: 14,061||Capacity: 25,586||Capacity: 13,000||Capacity: 10,000|
|Craven Park||Headingley Stadium|
|Capacity: 10,000||Capacity 21,062|
Teams in Groups C and D will play an additional inter-group match during the Group Stage. These matches will be between Scotland and the United States; Tonga and the Cook Islands; and Wales and Italy.
Quarter finals will follow the Group Stage with three teams from each of Groups A & B and one team from each of Group C & D qualifying.
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| ||A1|| || |
|D1|| || |
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| ||A3|| || |
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| ||A2|| || |
|B3|| || |
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| ||C1|| || |
|16 November 2013||Runner Up A||'||3rd place B||DW Stadium, Wigan|
2013 Rugby League World Cup
- Group stage
- Knockout stage