The eight nations of who will compete in the Women’s World Cup in 2021 have been confirmed.
RLWC2021 will see the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments played concurrently for the first time. International nations were asked to submit their expressions of interest earlier this year for RLWC2021, with Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) representatives reviewing the applications.
Each nation was assessed against set criteria that reviewed their current international and domestic infrastructure, their plans for growth and their potential impact on RLWC2021. The draw for the tournament will take place in November 2019.
The nations confirmed for the women’s tournament are: England (hosts), Australia (holders), Brazil, Canada, Cook Islands, France, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
RLIF chief executive Nigel Wood commented: “Women’s sport is growing exponentially, and rugby league is no exception.
“The fact that we were oversubscribed for this competition demonstrates the immense appetite for our sport. We are encouraged that female athletes around the world are participating and rising to the challenge of skill, fitness, strength and mental toughness provided by rugby league.
“I would like to add my congratulations to each nation and wish them all the best in their build-up to what will be a fantastic event in 2021 and to thank all the nations who participated in this process and we hope that they will join in the women’s Emerging Nations World Cup, which will be a part of the Festival of World Cups 2021.
“We have to ensure that there is clear pathway developed quickly to cater for a fuller women’s international programme with events organised locally, regionally and globally, all leading to a full qualification process for the RLWC2025.”
The women’s tournament will begin at Anfield on Saturday, November 13, 2021. The final will be part of a double-header with the men’s final at Old Trafford on November 28.