BBC to broadcast autumn internationals

BBC Sport has agreed to broadcast live and exclusive coverage of five internationals involving three England Rugby League teams this autumn, which will including a repeat of the Wheelchair World Cup Final between England and France.

Tom Halliwell’s World Cup winners will return to action for the first time since their dramatic 28-24 triumph against the French in a rematch against France at the First Direct Arena in Leeds on Sunday November 5. The match will be live on BBC Two & BBC iPlayer.

The Wheelchair International will follow a double header of England Rugby League action at Headingley on Saturday, November 4. England Women will face Wales Women at 12pm (BBC Two & BBC iPlayer), followed by the final Test of the Men’s series against Tonga at 2.30pm (BBC One & BBC iPlayer).

The rest of the series will also be live on BBC One, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Online, starting with the first Test between England and Tonga at the Totally Wicked Stadium in St Helens on Sunday October 22 – eight days after the Betfred Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford.

It is a first-ever series between England and Tonga, and the first meeting between the nations since the classic World Cup semi-final in 2017 when England just held off a thrilling late fightback in Auckland.

Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport, said: “All 61 games of last year’s exhilarating Rugby League World Cup, across the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair tournaments, were broadcast live on the BBC. It was a privilege to be the home of that tournament, and it’s a privilege to continue to broadcast live Rugby League internationals on free-to-air television. Alongside the England Men’s series against Tonga and the home nation Women’s clash between England and Wales, it is a tantalising prospect to have a re-match of last year’s thrilling Wheelchair final between England and France live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport Online.”

Rhodri Jones, the Managing Director of Rugby League Commercial, said: “We are delighted to confirm both that the England Wheelchair team will return to action on November 5 with a rematch against France, and that BBC Sport will provide coverage to the nation of all five of our home England internationals this autumn. Last year’s World Cup was such a positive event for the sport, with huge support for our three England teams as they won 10 games out of 10 to reach the Semi Finals of the Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair competitions, and the Wheelchair team going on to be crowned world champions on a truly memorable night in Manchester.

“BBC Sport’s coverage ensured that the success of all three teams was celebrated by the widest possible audience, and now we can look forward to a repeat in 2023. With confirmation of a first Wheelchair Rugby League International in the superb facilities of the First Direct Arena the following day, it promises to be a memorable weekend of Rugby League in Leeds.”


Autumn Internationals Coverage Details:

Sunday October 22: England Men v Tonga Men, first Test at Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens – 2.30pm, BBC One & BBC iPlayer

Saturday October 28: England Men v Tonga Men, second Test at John Smith’s Stadium, Huddersfield – 2.30pm, BBC One & BBC iPlayer

Saturday November 4: England Women v Wales Women, Headingley Stadium, Leeds – 12pm, BBC Two & BBC iPlayer

Saturday November 4: England Men v Tonga Men, third Test at Headingley Stadium, Leeds – 2.30pm, BBC One & BBC iPlayer

Sunday November 5: England Wheelchair v France Wheelchair, first direct arena, Leeds – 3.15pm, BBC Two & BBC iPlayer