The draw for the 2018 Rugby League Commonwealth Championships has been made as Moreton Bay in Queensland prepares for two exciting days of Nines Rugby League on February 23-24.
The Championship is officially endorsed by the Commonwealth Games Federation and is classed as an exhibition sport.
Wales, competing in the Men’s tournament only, won bronze last time out, and they will again take on Australia, the 2014 silver medallists, as well as Fiji and Scotland in Group A.
Papua New Guinea, who took gold in Glasgow in 2014, have been drawn against Tonga, Samoa and England in Pool B.
The inaugural Women’s tournament sees Fiji, Samoa and Australia face off in Pool A with Canada, Tonga and Cook Islands in Pool B.
There will also be a three-team Physical Disability tournament between Australia, New Zealand and a rest of the world side known as the “Commonwealth All Stars”.
The exact timings of the fixtures are not yet confirmed and will be announced at a later date.
Wales face both Scotland and Australia in 2014, beating the Scots but losing out to the Australians, who also beat Scotland that year.
England crashed out in the group stages four years ago so will relish a rematch against PNG, who had a 100% record in Glasgow.
This tournament takes place exactly 22 years after the first ever Nines competition, the Super League World Nines, held in Fiji on 22-24 February 1996, a competition that also saw the debut of the video referee in rugby league, only the second team sport in the world (after cricket) to use such technology.
Wales’ tournament coach Shane Eccles said: “The announcement of the tournament groups adds to the growing anticipation for the whole competition.
“As a squad we are relishing the opportunity to pit ourselves against three nations with such long and strong rugby league history.
“We now know what faces us and this will help with our preparation for the competition.”
To sponsor a Wales player on this tour, please email the Wales tour’s commercial manager Craig Poskett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit www.rugbyleague9smoretonbay.com.au to view the tournament website. More information will be added to the site between now and the tournament kick off. Tickets are also on sale via this website as well as information on attractions and activities available in the Moreton Bay area.
For the rules of Rugby League Nines, and a full history of Wales’ involvement, please go to http://www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk/wrl_rep_teams/nines.
Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i0QS-wEVRY&feature=youtu.be to watch highlights of the 2014 tournament.