World Cup draw date confirmed

The draw for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup will take place on January 16, 2020.

The draws will reveal the opening fixture for the men’s women’s and wheelchair tournaments, which will include England and St James’ Park (men’s), Emerald Headingley Stadium (women’s) and the Copper Box Arena (wheelchair). The remaining fixtures will be announced at a later date.

The men’s draw will split the teams into three pots. One team from each pot will make up four respective groups. 

  • Pot 1 – All quarter-finalists from 2017 qualified automatically for 2021 – Fiji, Lebanon, Papua New Guinea and Samoa 
  • Pot 2 – France, Jamaica, Scotland and Wales 
  • Pot 3 – Cook Islands, Greece, Ireland and Italy 

England shall be pre allocated into Group A as hosts, world champions Australia in to Group B, New Zealand in to Group C and Tonga in to Group D. 

The RLWC2021 and International Rugby League (IRL) have agreed that each group should represent the rugby league playing world and, as such, will contain at least one nation from the Pacific region and at least one nation under the jurisdiction of the Rugby League European Federation.

Therefore, Lebanon will not be included in the draw for Group A (England’s group) and will be reintroduced after either Fiji, Papua New Guinea or Samoa is selected. The rest of the draw will then be conducted without any other changes. 

The women’s draw will split the teams into three pots, with England (hosts) and Australia (reigning champions) already pre-allocated into Group A and B respectively. One team from each of these three pots will make up two respective groups. 

The seedings for the draw are based on IRL world rankings. 

  • Pot 1 – New Zealand and Papua New Guinea 
  • Pot 2 – Canada and France 
  • Pot 3 – Cook Islands and Brazil 

The wheelchair draw follows the same format as the women’s, splitting the teams into three pots, with England (hosts) and France (reigning champions) already pre-allocated into Group A and B respectively. One team from each of these three pots will make up two respective groups. 

  • Pot 1 – Australia and Wales 
  • Pot 2 – Scotland and Spain 
  • Pot 3 – Norway and USA 

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