England’s Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson, French star Theo Fages and Wales flyer Regan Grace will make the draw for the final men’s European qualifying group for the 2021 World Cup in England, at the Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens on Wednesday 12 December at 3pm, which will be screened live on the RLEF Facebook page. he trio represent nations that have already secured places and will draw seven balls out of the bag of nations who will be competing for four places, in matches to be held in October/November 2019.
Ireland and Scotland enter as top seeds, Italy and Russia are second seeded, with Spain along with the winners of Norway versus Greece in the European C decider next spring as third seeds.
Nations with the same seeding will avoid each other as two groups are determined, the top two in each gaining qualification to the main tournament in 2021.
“We have players across the whole of Europe still dreaming of playing in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup,” said RLEF general manager Chris Thair. He will supervise proceedings, which will also see the fixtures decided, each nation playing the other in their group once.
“The draw will be an exciting, transparent occasion and we sincerely thank St Helens for hosting it and providing some of their international players.” Thair added.
An expanded sixteen nations will compete in the men’s Rugby League World Cup in England between the 23 October and 27 November 2021. Eight automatically qualified by reaching the quarter finals of the previous tournament in 2017.
A further three added their names after France won the recent 2018 European Championship, with Wales also qualifying after coming runners up, and Jamaica claimed the Americas Championship to become the first Caribbean nation to make the World Cup.