2026 World Cup details to be revealed as International Rugby League comment on long-term plans

Aaron Bower
RLWC, Australia, James Tedesco.

The host nation for the next Rugby League World Cup in 2026 will be confirmed later this month, the International Rugby League have confirmed – as well as revealing more details about the road to the next tournament.

The international game has fallen firmly under the microscope in recent days, following the fallout from England’s game in France last weekend.

Attention is now turning towards how the game can build momentum going into the next World Cup in two years, which Love Rugby League revealed earlier this year would be held in Australia.

And the IRL have revealed that, finally, after a tender process, the host nation will be formally confirmed in July – as well as revealing more information about the World Series event that will determine some of the qualifiers for the tournament.

They said: “International Rugby League is set to announce the hosts of IRL Rugby League World Cup 2026 this month and is progressing details of next year’s inaugural World Series to determine final places at the tournament.

“The IRL has previously announced that RLWC2026, featuring men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments, would be played in the Southern Hemisphere at the end of the 2026 NRL and Super League seasons.

“The hosts of World Series 2025 are scheduled to be announced later this year, with a tender process to commence in August.”

Meanwhile, the deadline for submissions to host the women’s World Cup in 2028, the wheelchair World Cup in 2029 and the men’s World Cup in 2030 has now been pushed back to the start of next year.

They said: “The deadline for bid submissions to host the standalone 2028 women’s World Cup, 2029 wheelchair World Cup and 2030 men’s World Cup has been pushed back to February 18, 2025, due to factors out of the tenderers’ control, and with the support of all tenderers.

“The tendering nations for all three world cups will also be publicly announced this month. Tenderers were invited to submit intermediate bid progress reports in June.”

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