Four years ago, England was given the rights to host the 2021 Rugby League Cup and, if it goes ahead, it is a competition that has the potential to change the international scene in Rugby League forever and make history. How is this? Well, that is what we are going to take a look at below.
There is Still Uncertainty as to Whether Tournament Will Go Ahead
Before we go ahead and explain how this upcoming tournament has the potential to change the international Rugby League scene for good, we would just like to highlight something else first. The tournament is scheduled to be held between the 23rd of October and the 27th of November and will feature 16 teams. These teams will be split into four groups of four, and the top 2 will qualify for the quarter finals. However, obviously, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there is still uncertainty as to whether it will be able to go ahead.
The organisers are very optimistic that it will be able to go ahead as planned and have given themselves until May to make a final decision. It might end up being played with socially distanced spectators or it might be postponed until 2022. John Dutton, the Rugby League World Cup 2021 chief executive, feels confident that as things are at this moment in time that a postponement will not be necessary, but that everyone needs to wait before giving a definite answer. Moving it back a year would mean that it clashes with the FIFA World Cup.
Betting World Eagerly Awaiting Two New Teams
There will be two new international teams that will make their Rugby League World Cup debuts this year and they are Greece and Jamaica.
The latter’s rise to the World Cup is a great success story. In 2019, they beat USA in their own backyard to qualify for their first World Cup, and they then took on the England Knights at a sold out Headingley Stadium. They lost the game 38 points to 6, but they put up a decent fight. Following the World Cup, even if they go on to lose every match, it is certain that Jamaican Rugby League’s landscape will change forever.
Greece will make a heavily anticipated World Cup debut after managing to qualify on the second attempt, but they have a very tough task of getting out of the group as they have to take on England, France, and Samoa. They first became a team in 2003 and have only played 29 matches since, with just four of those games being against teams that will be participating at the World Cup – one against Scotland and three against Italy. There is little hope of them making it out of the group, but it will be a great experience for them, nonetheless.
If you are a betting man and like to take a risk, then you could place a bet on one of these teams to win a match. There will be plenty of other markets that you can bet on during the tournament, but in order to do so you will obviously need to have an account with bookmaker. There are plenty of rugby betting sites that we can open an account with, and by following the link that we just provided you will be able to find the best bookmakers for betting on rugby. Their experts have been in the industry for a long time and know how to tell an average bookie from a great one.
A New Tournament
The Physical Disability Rugby League has gained a lot of popularity over the last couple of years and their chance has now finally arrived. Adam Hills, a Rugby League World Cup ambassador, has played a huge role in the rise of PDRL, regularly talking about it on his TV show, “The Last Leg” with Alex Brooker.
Five teams, England, Australia, Wales, New Zealand, and Scotland will compete in a mini tournament to crown the very first PDRL World Cup winners. This tournament will take place alongside the Rugby League World Cup and the final will be held on the 7th of November at the Halliwell Jones Stadium just before the game between France and Samoa.
Hopefully, crowds will be allowed back into sport stadiums by then so that these disabled players get the support that they deserve. After the World Cup, it is hoped that the PDRL will gain even more popularity.
Tournament organisers have done a great job during the broadcast selection process. On the 16th of January, the Rugby League world were glued to the Official Royal Family Facebook page as Prince Harry performed the draw for the Rugby League World Cup from Buckingham Palace.
The Rugby Football League has also developed their own app, OurLeague, that will broadcast all the games live for the very first time, while Rugby AM will show fans exclusive after-match content. If you want to watch it on the television, then every minute of the tournament will be broadcasted on BBC One, BBC Two, and the red button. The disability tournament will also be broadcasted in its entirety. If the Rugby World League cup proves to be a success, then you can bet your bottom dollar that the BBC will show more live Rugby League matches in the future, like they do with Rugby Union matches for big competitions such as the 6 Nations, which takes place every year between February and March.
Expansion of Venues
If fans are allowed to attend sporting events come the end of October, then there will be some new and exciting destinations for them to visit as some of the matches will be played at new venues. For example, Coventry’s Ricoh Arena has been chosen to host the mouth-watering clash between Scotland and Australia, while the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough will host the much-anticipated match between the Cook Islands and Tonga. Also, Arsenal’s football stadium will host a semi-final match between the two quarter-final winners from groups A and D, meaning that a tasty matchup between Tonga and Samoa could be on the cards.
Teams Wanting to Progress for the First Time
There will be two teams at the World Cup that have participated before but have failed to make it out of the group stages and into the quarter-finals. These two teams are the Cook Islands and Italy. The former is the lowest ranked international team in the competition this year, and they competed at the 2000 and 2013 World Cups, while the latter competed at the 2013 and 2017 editions. These two teams probably have little chance of breaking their ducks and making it to the quarter-finals in all honesty, but if they go ahead and defy all of the odds then it will definitely be history in the making.