WARRINGTON will host the Papua New Guinea national team during the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.

Team bases for next year’s World Cup were revealed this morning, Wednesday – exactly 500 days before the showpiece tournament kicks off.

The town had already been confirmed as one of 18 bases for the competing sides, having previously hosted Samoa during 2013.

And Warrington will host their fellow Pacific Islanders Papua New Guinea for the 2021 RLWC.

Warrington Guardian:

Three men’s World Cup games will be played at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, and it is expected that this will include at least one of PNG’s Group D matches - having been drawn alongside Wales, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

The Papua New Guineans will train in the town and mix with the Warrington community during the competition.

READ MORE > The likely stars of the PNG team

READ MORE > Why PNG is a great fit for Warrington

PNG is famously the only country in the world where rugby league is the national sport, with the Kumuls boasting Super League and NRL stars such as Alex Johnston, David Mead and Rhyse Martin.

Warrington Guardian:

This trio was part of the Papua New Guinea team which defeated Great Britain in Port Moresby in November last year.

The entirety of the Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup is also set to take place in the borough.

Paul Taylor, who chaired Warrington's bid group, said: "The announcement that we'll be welcoming PNG to Warrington is hugely exciting.

"A team and nation of such energy, vibrancy and passion is a perfect match for our town.

Warrington Guardian:

"In the same way we enthusiastically welcomed Samoa in 2013, I know we'll do the same again with PNG next year."

Second rower and captain Martin helped to make the announcement with former England footballer and Warrington Wolves fan Stuart Pearce on social media this morning.

Warrington Borough Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden added: "Today marks another big milestone on the road to Rugby League World Cup 2021 as we celebrate 500 days until the tournament starts.

"I’m sure our massive rugby league fanbase and community in Warrington will be really excited to welcome a nation that equals our own passion for the sport.

"In the same way we as a town continue to punch above our weight, so too do PNG.

Warrington Guardian:

Council chief executive Steven Broomhead

"Being ranked sixth in the world, the Kumuls could be a genuine contender and dark horse - so it’s a mouth-watering prospect that our town will be looking after them during the tournament.

"We’re set to see some brilliant games and be a real hive of activity for RLWC2021, and I know the PNG men’s team with have a fantastic stay there."

Cabinet member for leisure and community, Cllr Tony Higgins, added: "Welcoming PNG to Warrington is something I know our town will relish and we look forward to getting behind our adopted nation.

"I'm also tremendously looking forward to the Festival of the World Cup, which will feature the Physical Disability Rugby League tournament that Warrington will be pivotal in leading.

"The RLWC2021 organisers have said that they want next year's tournament to be the most inclusive yet - so hosting the PDRL tournament is something we as a town should be rightly proud of".