The next edition of the Rugby League World Cup is to be held in 2021. The global showcase will return after a 4-year interval as it was last held in 2017. In the upcoming Rugby League World Cup to be hosted by England, a total of 16 teams will battle each other for the right to be crowned as the world champions. In this guide, we share with you all you need to know about the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.
Overview of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup
The Rugby League World Cup is arguably the biggest and most prestigious rugby tournament in the world. The next edition of the Rugby League World Cup is set to be hosted by England in 2021. A total of 16 teams will compete in the tournament which will be the 16th instalment of the Rugby League World Cup.
Just before the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, the UAE was nominated as the country to host the next edition of the tournament (2021 tournament). As fate would have it, UAE failed in its plans to become the 2021 Rugby League World Cup hosts as government interference (through the UAE sporting body) in the domestic rugby league saw a ban being placed on the country hence effectively eliminating the country from hosting the 2021 global showcase.
After the ban, countries were invited to place hosting bids and three countries i.e. England, USA and Canada did forward their bids. However, England emerged victorious.
2021 Rugby League World Cup Format
The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is going to follow the same format used in recent tournaments. A total of 16 teams are going to participate. The 16 teams will be split into groups of four in the first round. Each team in a group will play three matches as it faces the other three teams. The top two teams’ will qualify for the quarterfinals. The teams that will win their quarterfinal matches will automatically qualify for the semifinals. The teams that will win the semi-final ties will automatically qualify for the final with the winner of the final being crowned the world champions.
2021 Rugby League World Cup Qualifying Matches
There are different routes for teams to use in qualifying for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. The majority (8) of the teams qualified automatically by virtue of being quarterfinalists in the 2017 tournament. The eight teams that qualified automatically are Lebanon, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, England, New Zealand and Australia.
The remaining eight spots are those that will be filled via qualifiers. The qualifiers for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup commenced in June this year and they will come to a close in November 2019. Six of the remaining places will be filled by teams from Europe (thus far France and Wales are the European teams that have secured qualification from Europe), one place will be filled by a nation from the Americas (Jamaica did the unthinkable to secure qualification after defeating the USA) while the remaining place is to be filled by a team that will win the playoffs among teams from the Americas (runner-up), Asia Pacific and the Middle East/Africa region. From the teams that have secured qualification for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, punters stand a chance to win massive prizes when they pick early their favourite to win the global showcase; to do this, punters simply have to place their bets at NetBet rugby league betting.