Rugby League World Cup 2021: Australia and New Zealand confirmed for re-scheduled tournament

Australia and New Zealand will play in the re-scheduled 2021 Rugby League World Cup, organisers have confirmed.

The tournament in England, due to start last month, was postponed for a year after both teams withdrew because of “safety concerns” related to Covid-19.

The five-week tournament will now take place between 15 October and 19 November next year.

“Today is a very important and exciting milestone on our journey to 2022,” RLWC chief executive Jon Dutton said.

Australia and New Zealand will join 30 other competing nations across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events in a “bigger and better” tournament in 2022.

"We have dedicated our energy towards rebuilding. A huge amount of work has gone in behind the scenes and thanks to so many people we have the opportunity to deliver a bigger and better tournament next autumn."

RLWC chief executive Jon Dutton

Despite the postponement of the original event, only five matches have been impacted, with the full 61-match schedule set to be released on Friday.

England will still open the tournament with a group game against Samoa at St James’ Park, Newcastle, with all games to be shown live on BBC channels.

Organisers also confirmed the re-introduction of the Physical Disability Rugby League World Cup to be held in Warrington, with Ireland as a sixth participant.

Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: “Rugby league means so much to many people across the country, so I’m delighted the Rugby League World Cup is on track to kick off next autumn.”

Original article published 15.11.21 on the BBC Sport website.

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