2021 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP OVERVIEW
Host Nation – England
Number of Teams – 16 (Australia, England, New Zealand, France, Wales, Jamaica, Fiji, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Greece, Cook Islands)
Dates: Between 23rd of October and 27th of November 2021
2021 World Cup Snapshot – The 2021 Rugby League World Cup will be the 16th instalment of the oldest Rugby World Cup tournament on the planet.
In April 2015 the UAE Rugby League announced plans to bid for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Their plans went astray when the national UAE sporting body placed a ban on Rugby League in the country.
In October 2016 it was announced that England would be the 2021 Rugby League World Cup hosts after fending off a strong bid from the USA and Canada. Fixtures dates and times are still to be confirmed. What is confirmed is the 2021 RLWC will take place between 23rd of October and the 27th of November 2021.
Sixteen teams will participate in the 2021 Tournament which is an increase of two teams from the last tournament. The participating nations will be split up into four groups of four along the same lines as the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.
UK TV Broadcaster BBC will cover all 31 games live. Other broadcasters are still to be confirmed but it’s expected that Sky NZ will show World Cup games in New Zealand. Fox Sports is also expected to cover the games in Australia with a free to air broadcaster still to be confirmed.
2021 Rugby League World Cup Group Format
The format will follow the same lines as the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.
Group One – 4 teams
Group Two – 4 teams
Group Three – 4 teams
Group Four – 4 teams
2021 Rugby League World Cup Finals Format
The finals system used in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup will more then likely be used.
The teams that finish in the top 2 in each group would qualify for the quarter finals. The winner of each quarter final match would then qualify for the semi-finals.
The winner of both semi-finals will play each other a week later in the World Cup Final.
For the latest 2021 Rugby League World Cup news click here
2021 Rugby League World Cup Venues
The Rugby Football League in conjunction with the 2021 Rugby League World Cup organisers invited councils across the country to bid for the hosting of matches during the tournament. A total of eighteen stadiums have been confirmed. (Old Trafford Manchester, Emirates Stadium London, Anfield Liverpool, St James Park Newcastle, Elland Road Leeds, Riverside Stadium Middlesbrough, Bramall Lane Sheffield, Ricoh Arena Coventry, KCOM Stadium Hull, University of Bolton Stadium, Kirklees Stadium Hudderfield,Headingley Stadium Leeds, Totally Wicked Stadium St Helens, Keepmoat Stadium Doncaster, Halliwell Jones Stadium Warrington, Leigh Sports Village).
2021 Rugby League World Cup Men’s Draw
• New Zealand
• Cook Islands
2021 Rugby League World Cup Women’s Draw
• New Zealand
• Cook Islands
2021 Rugby League World Cup Wheelchair Draw
2021 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers
On the 9th of May 2018 the Rugby League International Federation released the details of the qualifying process for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. Eight Nations, who were all quarter finalists in the 2017 tournament, Australia, New Zealand, England, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, and Lebanon have automatically qualified.
The remaining eight places are up for grabs via qualifiers from four regions around the world. Six nations from Europe and one nation from the Americas. The last place in the World Cup will be determined via a “World Play Off”. This will involve the America’s Runner up, Asia Pacific highest ranked and Middle East/Africa highest ranked.
The qualifiers will commenced in June 2018 and conclude in November 2019.
European Qualifiers (6 Nations)
EUROS – October / November 2018
The first two European Nations to qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup was determined in October / November 2018 via the European Championship. The top two nations in the group qualified while the bottom two nations received a 2nd chance in the European Play Offs.
France became the ninth nation to qualify for the Rugby League World Cup after winning all their European Cup fixtures and finishing top of the championship.
Wales left it to the last round of the European Championship to become the 10th team to qualify for the Rugby League World Cup after a win over Ireland. Wales finished in 2nd position on the European Championship Leaderboard.
Scotland and Ireland will now get a second chance to qualify when they enter the European Play-Offs scheduled for Oct/Nov 2019.
European Championship Fixtures / Results
France 54 v Wales 18, Carcassone, 27th October 2018
Ireland 36 v Scotland 10, Santry, 27th October 2018
Scotland 12 v Wales 50, Galashiels, 2nd November 2018
Ireland 10 v France 24, Santry, 3rd November 2018
France 28 v Scotland 10, Carcassone 10th November 2018
Wales 40 v Ireland 8, Wrexham, 11th November 2018
GROUP B QUALIFIERS – October 2018
The top two European Nations in Group B will progress through to the European Play Offs to be held in 2019. The last placed team will bow out of the World Cup qualifiers. Russia, Serbia and Spain have been allocated to Group B.
European Championship B Fixtures / Results
Spain 32 v Russia 24, Valencia, 6 October 2018
Russia 36 v Serbia 18, Moscow, 13 October 2018
Serbia 24 v Spain 20, Belgrade, 20 October 2018
All teams finished on 2 points with Russia and Spain originally making it through to the European Play-Offs based on for and against. in 2019 Russia withdrew from the 2nd round of European Qualifiers and was replaced by Serbia.
GROUP C QUALIFIERS North and South – June to September 2018
The Group C Qualification was broken up into North and South. Group C North saw Czech Republic, Germany and Norway take each other on in a round robin. Group C South saw Greece, Malta and Ukraine battle it out. The top finishing Teams in both North and South then played each other with the winner progressing through to the European Play Offs to be held in 2019. The other teams will bow out of the World Cup qualifiers.
European Championship C – North Fixtures / Results
Czech Republic 20 v Norway 12, Vrchlabi, 16 June 2018
Germany 24 v Czech Republic 4, Osnabrück, 25 August
Norway 40 v Germany 22, Porsgrunn, 15 September 2018
European Championship C – South Fixtures / Results
Malta 22 v Ukraine 34, Marsa, 30 June 2018
Ukraine 26 v Greece 28, Kharkov, 8 September 2018
Greece 60 v Malta 4, Athens, 15 September 2018
European Championship C Final
Greece 56 v Norway 26, London, 18 May 2019
Greece progressed to the next stage of the Rugby League World Cup European Qualifiers.
EUROPEAN PLAY OFFS – October / November 2019
Italy will be joined by the bottom two teams from the EUROS. The top two teams from Group B and the winner of Group C will form the other Group. Split into two groups teams will play each other in a round robin. Based on their final table standings the top two teams in each group will progress through to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
European Qualifiers A – Fixtures / Results
Spain 8 v Ireland 42, Valencia 26th Oct 2019
Italy 34 v Spain , Kharkov, 2nd Nov 2019
Ireland 25 v Italy 4, Dublin, 9th Nov 2019
European Qualifiers B – Fixtures / Results
Scotland 86 v Serbia 0, Glasgow, 26th Oct 2019
Greece 24 v Scotland 42, London, 1st Nov 2019
Serbia 6 v Greece 82, Belgrade, 9th Nov 2019
Greece were the 15th nations to qualify for the Rugby League World Cup. This will be the first time Greece has ever played in a Rugby League World Cup. The Greek’s inclusion highlights the growing footprint of Rugby League around the World.
Americas Qualifiers – October / November 2018
Four teams Canada, Chile, Jamaica and the United States took part in the Americas leg of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers. In what was a major upset Jamaica defeated the USA 16 – 10 to become the 11th team to qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. This will be the first time ever Jamaica will participate in a Rugby League World Cup. The United States who were the runner up will receive a 2nd chance progressing through to the World Play Offs.
Game 1 – United States 64 v Chile 0, University of North Florida, Jacksonville 13th November 2018
Game 2 – Canada 8 v Jamaica 38, University of North Florida, Jacksonville 13th November 2018
Winner Game 1 (United States) 10 v Winner Game 2 (Jamaica) 16, University of North Florida, Jacksonville 17th November 2018
Loser Game 1 (Chile) 12 v Loser Game 2 (Canada) 62, University of North Florida, Jacksonville 17th November 2018
Picture: Jamaica Celebrate after winning the Americas Championship, qualifying for the first time and also becoming the 11th team to Qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
World Play Off – October / November 2019
This is the last and final 2021 Rugby League World Cup place up for grabs. The runner up from the Americas which is now confirmed as the United States, Highest Ranked Team in the Asia Pacific (Cook Islands) that thus far hasn’t qualified and the highest ranked Middle East/African nation (South Africa) will all take part in the play off with the top placed team progessing through to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
In June 2019 South Africa and Cook Islands played an elimination match in Sydney with the winner progressing to the final stage of the qualifiers to take on the USA for the final place in the Rugby League World Cup. The Cook Islands ran out 66 – 6 winners and took on the USA in Jacksonville Florida on the 16th of November. 2019.
With a hardend team of professional players Cook Islands defeated the USA Hawks 38 – 16 and secured the last place in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.