A thorough process to assess and select the hosts for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup has been revealed by the Rugby League International Federation Board (RLIF).
Starting later this month, the RLIF Board will meet to agree the competition format, structure and qualifying process, with expressions of interest sought by the first quarter of 2015.
Invitations to tender will then be sent out and an evaluation committee appointed, with bids submitted during the first quarter of 2016.
Assessments by the committee, coupled with bid presentations and further scrutiny will follow and a final decision on the successful application is expected in October 2016,giving the successful host five full years to prepare.
The competition, the sixteenth Rugby League World Cup, will take place in October/November 2021.
Revealing the process, RLIF chairman, Nigel Wood, commented: “More than ever before we are trying to put in place a long-term, meaningful international calendar, and this is a vital staging point in that process.”
“In the past, the World Cup has suffered from irregular timing but it is now enshrined in a four-year cycle as one of sport’s blue ribbon events.”
“I fully anticipate that for 2021 more nations than ever before will be submitting bids to stage the tournament and with the decision being made in advance of the 2017 competition, there will be excellent opportunities to shadow organisers and learn from that event”
The 2017 Rugby League World Cup will be jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand. They were awarded the opportunity to host after stiff competition from a bid by South Africa Rugby League.