Watch Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium transform into Rugby League World Cup venue in first for Premier League side

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal have got the Emirates Stadium rocking again, but their home ground has looked slightly different this weekend.

The Rugby League World Cup has come to London, with the Gunners playing host to England’s semi-final against Samoa.


England’s Rugby League World Cup semi-final against Samoa took place the Emirates Stadium

In a video posted on Arsenal’s Twitter account, fans have been able to see just how much work has gone into changing the pitch to suit rugby from football.

Gone are the usual goals and nets you can find on a Saturday afternoon in north London, with rugby posts being installed instead.

Different markings have also been added to the pitch, with the Emirates Stadium proving to be a multi-purpose venue to mark the first time another sport has been played at the ground.

Upon completion, the home of the Gunners was turned into a ground worthy of staging such an important tie as the tournament reaches its conclusion.

But it was Samoa who were triumphant on Saturday evening as they beat the host nation 27-26 through a dramatic golden point victory.

England had already beaten their Oceanic opponents this year as they cruised to a 60-6 victory in the opening game of the tournament, but were unable to repeat such a result.

😲 Emirates Stadium is being transformed!

🏉 @RLWC2021 is the first sporting competition outside of football to be played at our home stadium

🎟️ Witness history at the men’s semi-final in north London, tickets available now 👇

— Arsenal (@Arsenal) November 11, 2022


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The World Cup was originally due to take place in 2021 but was postponed until this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with Australia and New Zealand expressing worries over player safety in England.

However, the competition has now returned, with the remaining sides battling it out for glory on the global stage.

Friday saw Australia beat New Zealand 16-14 in an exciting match at Elland Road, and the Kangaroos will now meet Samoa in the final at Old Trafford next Saturday.

Although the Emirates Stadium will need to revert back to a football ground, Arsenal are in no rush for it to be reverted, as they won’t be back in action at home again until after the World Cup.

But supporters will hardly be able to wait until the Gunners’ next home game against London rivals West Ham on Boxing Day, with their beloved side sitting top of the Premier League table at Christmas for the first time in 15 years.

Watch the World Cup with talkSPORT

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At talkSPORT we are powered by fans, so come and join us for the ultimate World Cup fan experience this winter – at the talkSPORT Fan Zone.

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There will be Q&As with talkSPORT talent, you’ll be part of our live broadcasts, and there will be plenty of food and drink on offer too.

Come and enjoy the best World Cup fan experience in London – and enjoy a pint on us – with tickets for England and Wales’ group stage games on sale now HERE!

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