The Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) Organising Committee (OC) today announced the Draw for the Tournament to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 27 October – 2 December 2017.
Melbourne Rectangular Stadium will host a blockbuster opening match of the RLWC2017, when the home nation – the Kangaroos – begin their campaign under lights against England on Friday 27 October.
On Saturday 28 October, the Kiwis first pool match will be played at the home of Rugby League in New Zealand – Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium – when they take on Pacific rivals Samoa.
In October 2015, the RLWC2017 OC announced Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a hosting partner of the World Cup, with Port Moresby to host the PNG Kumuls’ three pool matches against two European Qualifiers and the USA. The first match is scheduled for Saturday 28 October and in a country where Rugby League is the national sport, the passionate fans of PNG are sure to embrace the sport’s pinnacle event.
The winner of the RLWC2017 will be decided at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday 2 December, as the two finalists battle it out for the right to hold aloft the Paul Barrière trophy and claim the title of World Cup winners.
RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown, said the Organising Committee made a deliberate decision to take the Rugby League World Cup to more fans than any World Cup has done before.
“The Tournament Draw demonstrates how far and wide we are taking matches, from established Rugby League communities, to those new and emerging fan bases in all three countries.
“Over the course of the pool stages we have looked to position matches in strong Rugby League communities and where large populations of ex-pats, Pacifica and indigenous fans live, to give those who love the sport and their national teams the chance to see some World Cup action.
“The decision to take matches to places like Darwin, Perth, Christchurch and Port Moresby were made with the future of the game in mind. They are matches we believe will give profile to the sport in markets that have already shown an appetite for Rugby League.”
The RLWC2017 Tournament Draw is family-friendly by intention, with all matches to be played across the weekend including Friday night games. There will be three double-headers in Cairns, Perth and Townsville, providing additional value for money for fans.
“We not only want to see traditional rugby league fans come out to support their national team, we aim to engage with the local communities of all participating teams to deliver an event that will entertain the world, inspire communities and celebrate Rugby League,” continued Brown.
“Rugby league is truly a game for everyone. We hope the Rugby League World Cup 2017 leaves a legacy for the game that sees it continue to grow and dominate the sporting landscape.”
With 11 teams already confirmed, the final three teams will come from the European Qualifying Tournament to be played in October and November this year. The teams who are still in the race include Wales, Ireland, Russia, Serbia, Italy and Spain.
The pool structure reflects that of the successful 2013 Tournament. The composition of the pools for RLWC2017 were shaped by a number of considerations, including the final placings from the 2013 World Cup and current world rankings
Papua New Guinea
European Qualifier 1
European Qualifier 2
European Qualifier 3
The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has approved that if Australia qualifies for a Quarter-Final, it will play in Darwin. If New Zealand qualifies for a Quarter-Final, it will play in Wellington. If Australia and New Zealand were to play each other in a Quarter-Final or Semi-Final, whoever finishes higher in the pool stage will get the home advantage. The full Quarter-Final fixture will be finalised at the conclusion of the pool stages, taking in to consideration hosting requirements.
If Australia and New Zealand make the Semi-Finals they will play in Brisbane and Auckland respectively.
Rugby League World Cup 2017 Tournament Draw
*Kick off times to be announced ahead of tournament
|27/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||Australia vs England||Melbourne Rectangular Stadium|
|28/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||PNG v Euro Q1||Port Moresby (venue TBA)|
|28/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||New Zealand vs Samoa||Mt Smart, Auckland|
|28/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||Fiji vs USA||Townsville Stadium|
|29/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||Scotland vs Tonga||Barlow Park, Cairns|
|29/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||Euro Q2 vs Euro Q3||Barlow Park, Cairns|
|29/10/2017||Pool – Round 1||France vs Lebanon||Canberra Stadium|
|3/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||Australia vs France||Canberra Stadium|
|4/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||New Zealand vs Scotland||Christchurch Stadium|
|4/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||Samoa vs Tonga||Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
|4/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||England vs Lebanon||Sydney Football Stadium|
|5/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||PNG vs Euro Q2||Port Moresby (venue TBA)|
|5/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||Euro Q3 vs USA||Townsville Stadium|
|5/11/2017||Pool – Round 2||Fiji vs Euro Q1||Townsville Stadium|
|10/11/2017||Pool – Round 3||Fiji vs Euro Q3||Canberra Stadium|
|11/11/2017||Pool – Round 3||Samoa vs Scotland||Barlow Park, Cairns|
|11/11/2017||Pool – Round 3||New Zealand vs Tonga||Waikato Stadium, Hamilton|
|11/11/2017||Pool – Round 3||Australia vs Lebanon||Sydney Football Stadium|
|12/11/2017||Pool – Round 3||PNG vs USA||Port Moresby (venue TBA)|
|12/11/2017||Pool – Round 3||Euro Q1 vs Euro Q2||Perth Rectangular Stadium|
|17/11/2017||Quarter Final||Darwin Stadium|
|18/11/2017||Quarter Final||Christchurch Stadium|
|18/11/2017||Quarter Final||Wellington Regional Stadium|
|19/11/2017||Quarter Final||Melbourne Rectangular Stadium|
|24/11/2017||Semi Final||Brisbane Stadium|
|25/11/2017||Semi Final||Mt Smart, Auckland|
To view the Rugby League World Cup 2017 Tournament Draw, go to RLWC2017.com/draw
RLWC2017 Fan packages, including tickets, are on sale now at RLWC2017.com/travel
Tickets will go on general sale on 27 October 2016. Fans should register their interest atRLWC2017.com