Rugby League World Cup 2017 draw announced

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.

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.”

“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.”

Tournament Pools
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

Pool A

Pool B
New Zealand

Pool C
Papua New Guinea
European Qualifier 1
European Qualifier 2

Pool D
European Qualifier 3

Rugby League World Cup 2017 Full Tournament Draw plus Finals information
As co-hosts of the tournament, the RLWC2017 OC wanted to give certainty to the Australian and New Zealand fans who want to pre-arrange travel to these matches to support their team.

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

DateMatch TypeMatch-UpVenue
27/10/2017Pool – Round 1Australia vs EnglandMelbourne Rectangular Stadium
28/10/2017Pool – Round 1PNG v Euro Q1Port Moresby (venue TBA)
28/10/2017Pool – Round 1New Zealand vs SamoaMt Smart, Auckland
28/10/2017Pool – Round 1Fiji vs USATownsville Stadium
29/10/2017Pool – Round 1Scotland vs TongaBarlow Park, Cairns
29/10/2017Pool – Round 1Euro Q2 vs Euro Q3Barlow Park, Cairns
29/10/2017Pool – Round 1France vs LebanonCanberra Stadium
3/11/2017Pool – Round 2Australia vs FranceCanberra Stadium
4/11/2017Pool – Round 2New Zealand vs ScotlandChristchurch Stadium
4/11/2017Pool – Round 2Samoa vs TongaWaikato Stadium, Hamilton
4/11/2017Pool – Round 2England vs LebanonSydney Football Stadium
5/11/2017Pool – Round 2PNG vs Euro Q2Port Moresby (venue TBA)
5/11/2017Pool – Round 2Euro Q3 vs USATownsville Stadium
5/11/2017Pool – Round 2Fiji vs Euro Q1Townsville Stadium
10/11/2017Pool – Round 3Fiji vs Euro Q3Canberra Stadium
11/11/2017Pool – Round 3Samoa vs ScotlandBarlow Park, Cairns
11/11/2017Pool – Round 3New Zealand vs TongaWaikato Stadium, Hamilton
11/11/2017Pool – Round 3Australia vs LebanonSydney Football Stadium
12/11/2017Pool – Round 3PNG vs USAPort Moresby (venue TBA)
12/11/2017Pool – Round 3Euro Q1 vs Euro Q2Perth Rectangular Stadium
12/11/2017Pool – Round 3England vs FrancePerth Rectangular Stadium
17/11/2017Quarter FinalDarwin Stadium
18/11/2017Quarter FinalChristchurch Stadium
18/11/2017Quarter FinalWellington Regional Stadium
19/11/2017Quarter FinalMelbourne Rectangular Stadium
24/11/2017Semi FinalBrisbane Stadium
25/11/2017Semi FinalMt Smart, Auckland
2/12/017FinalBrisbane Stadium