Rugby league is a sport for the real fan. We want to serve this fans not only with good tickets, but also with facts and figures to enjoy the countdown. In this blog you will find everything you need to know about Rugby League World Cup 2021.
From October 23 to November 27 2021 it will happen: the sixteenth edition of the Rugby League World Cup. Australia will try to defend its title, but host country England has their own ambitions for the first spot. No fewer than sixteen national teams compete against each other in the most beautiful (football) stadiums in England. What exactly can we expect?
The first Rugby League World Cup was held in 1954, almost thirty years before the first Rugby Union World Cup. These two forms of rugby have been very different since they were separated in 1895 due to a disagreement over whether or not to pay players. Rugby league changed its rules over the years to create a faster form of rugby, to entertain the public more.
In Rugby league the teams have thirteen players, in Rugby union fifteen, the scoring is different and the way in which possession is conquered differs. Don’t confuse the two forms of rugby, because then the fans will get angry!
Rugby league is the national sport of Papua New Guinea and also in Australia Rugby league is more popular than Rugby union. Australia has dominated Rugby league for years and reached the final in the last fourteen tournaments. The Kangaroos won the championship at the last edition in 2017, organised in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. In the final they beat England with 6-0 in the Brisbane Stadium, that was filled with 40.033 spectators.
In total, Australia won the Rugby League World Cup eleven times. There is a huge gap with the number two and three. Great Britain won the tournament three times and New Zealand only once. These three countries are also the favourites for the upcoming edition in 2021.
In addition to the tournament for men, there is also a tournament for women and for the first time in history the wheelchair tournament will be held at the same time.
In 2021, more teams than ever will participate in the Rugby League World Cup for men. Divided into four groups of teams sixteen start the tournament. That means two teams more than in the previous editions.
The breakdown is as followed: seven countries from Europe, seven countries from Asia-Pacific, Jamaica as the only country of the Americas and Lebanon on behalf of the Middle East and Africa. The groups for the pool phase are as follows:
Group A: England, Samoa, France, Greece
Group B: Australia, Fiji, Scotland, Italy
Group C: New Zealand, Lebanon, Jamaica, Ireland
Group D: Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Wales, Cook Islands
Rugby league is originally a North English sport and it is therefore special that many of the host cities are located exactly there. The 2021 World Cup will be played in 21 stadiums, of which 17 will be used for men. This includes some major football stadiums such as Old Trafford, Emirates Stadium and Anfield.
The opening game between England and Samoa will be played at St James’ Park in Newcastle on October 23, 2021. After the group round, the quarter finals and the semi-finals, the final battle will be fought. The final will be played on November 27 at Old Trafford. In 2013, a spectator record was set here with no fewer than 74,468 fans present. That is worth repeating!
You don’t want to miss a single goal during the tournament. Which players do you have to pay extra attention to when they are on the ball? To determine that, we take the list of try top scorers from the previous world championship.
Australian Valentine Holmes scored the most tries in 2017 (17). The fullback and winger scored no less than 86 points in all his thirteen international matches for Australia. Number two on the top scorers list was Suliasi Vunivalu of Fiji (9 tries) and number three Jermaine McGillvary of England (7). These three top players will again be present on the fields this year.
Do you want to enjoy the Rugby League World Cup live? We at P1 Travel help you get the best experience. We sell tickets for all teams and for the knockout rounds until the final. Choose your favourite match, book a hotel and get ready to enjoy!