World Cup 9s to be held in Sydney in 2019

Drew Darbyshire

The NRL and RLIF have announced that the Downer Rugby League World Cup 9s will be staged in Sydney next October, with 12 nations competing in the tournament.

The World Cup will be held on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19, 2019. It will feature men’s and women’s tournaments.

Twelve teams in the men’s competition and four teams in the women’s tournament will compete across 28 matches and 12 hours of action.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said: “The Nines concept has been a great success, and this is the obvious next step – Nines at international level.

“The best players in the world will be on show in this unique concept over the course of two days at the brand new Western Sydney Stadium. This will be the typical fast-paced and free-flowing action which the Nines brings but with the added international flavour.

“The whole week will be a celebration of rugby league in western Sydney, with a number of community initiatives planned.

“The benefits for the game are enormous. It will be an exciting and innovative tournament for our fans and it will also help to develop international rugby league.

“It will be a fantastic way to showcase the game and I’d like to thank the NSW government and destination NSW for their support, as well as to the RLIF for their strong belief in this concept.”

RLIF chief executive Nigel Wood added: “The shorter form of rugby league provides us with an exceptional competition to attract new fans, players and commercial partners to the sport across the world whilst appealing to our current supporter base and partners who love the speed and excitement of Nines.

“The RLIF has the mission to showcase rugby league to the widest audience possible and through initiatives such as this, we are supporting that mission.”

Downer will take the naming rights for the tournament, having previously been supporters if the NRL Nines concept.

FOX Sports would be the official broadcast partner of the World Cup 9s. They will broadcast every men’s and women’s match live across the two days of competition.

The tournament has been secured for Sydney by the New South Wales government.