The Rugby League World Cup 2017 Organising Committee today announced the Draw for the Tournament to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand from 27 October – 2 December 2017.
Greg Inglis’ Kangaroos will meet the Burgess Brothers’ and Joe Burgess’ English team in a blockbuster opening match of the RLWC2017, under lights at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium on Friday 27 October.
On Saturday 28 October, the Kiwis first pool match will be played at the home of Rugby League in New Zealand – Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium – when they take on Pacific rivals Samoa.
In October 2015, the RLWC2017 OC announced Papua New Guinea (PNG) as a hosting partner of the World Cup, with Port Moresby to host the PNG Kumuls’ three pool matches against two European Qualifiers and the USA. The first match is scheduled for Saturday 28 October and in a country where Rugby League is the national sport, the passionate fans of PNG are sure to embrace the sport’s pinnacle event.
The winner of the RLWC2017 will be decided at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday 2 December, as the two finalists battle it out for the right to hold aloft the Paul Barrière trophy and claim the title of World Cup winners.
Two of the Rabbitohs’ homes-away-from-home, Barlow Park in Cairns and Perth Rectangular Stadium (known as nib Stadium), will also host matches in the 2017 World Cup.
RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown, said the Organising Committee made a deliberate decision to take the Rugby League World Cup to more fans than any World Cup has done before.
“The Tournament Draw demonstrates how far and wide we are taking matches, from established Rugby League communities, to those new and emerging fan bases in all three countries.
“Over the course of the pool stages we have looked to position matches in strong Rugby League communities and where large populations of ex-pats, Pacifica and Indigenous fans live, to give those who love the sport and their national teams the chance to see some World Cup action.
“The decision to take matches to places like Darwin, Perth, Christchurch and Port Moresby were made with the future of the game in mind. They are matches we believe will give profile to the sport in markets that have already shown an appetite for Rugby League.”
The RLWC2017 Tournament Draw is family-friendly by intention, with all matches to be played across the weekend including Friday night games. There will be three double-headers in Cairns, Perth and Townsville, providing additional value for money for fans.
“We not only want to see traditional rugby league fans come out to support their national team, we aim to engage with the local communities of all participating teams to deliver an event that will entertain the world, inspire communities and celebrate Rugby League,” continued Brown.
“Rugby League is truly a game for everyone. We hope the Rugby League World Cup 2017 leaves a legacy for the game that sees it continue to grow and dominate the sporting landscape.”
With 11 teams already confirmed, the final three teams will come from the European Qualifying Tournament to be played in October and November this year. The teams who are still in the race include Wales, Ireland, Russia, Serbia, Italy and Spain.
The pool structure reflects that of the successful 2013 Tournament. The composition of the pools for RLWC2017 were shaped by a number of considerations, including the final placings from the 2013 World Cup and current world rankings.
Papua New Guinea
European Qualifier 1
European Qualifier 2
European Qualifier 3
Rugby League World Cup 2017 Full Tournament Draw plus Finals information
As co-hosts of the tournament, the RLWC2017 Organising Committee wanted to give certainty to the Australian and New Zealand fans who want to pre-arrange travel to these matches to support their team.
The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has approved that if Australia qualifies for a Quarter-Final, it will play in Darwin. If New Zealand qualifies for a Quarter-Final, it will play in Wellington. If Australia and New Zealand were to play each other in a Quarter-Final or Semi-Final, whoever finishes higher in the pool stage will get the home advantage. The full Quarter-Final fixture will be finalised at the conclusion of the pool stages, taking into consideration hosting requirements.
If Australia and New Zealand make the Semi-Finals they will play in Brisbane and Auckland respectively.
Rugby League World Cup 2017 Tournament Draw
*Kick off times to be announced ahead of tournament
Friday 27 October 2017
Pool A – Round 1 – Australia vs England – Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Saturday 28 October 2017
Pool C – Round 1 – Papua New Guinea vs European Qualifier 1 – Port Moresby
Pool B – Round 1 – New Zealand vs Samoa – Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Pool D – Round 1 – Fiji vs USA – Townsville Stadium
Sunday 29 October 2017
Pool B – Round 1 – Scotland vs Tonga – Barlow Park, Cairns
Pool C/D – Round 1 – European Qualifier 2 vs European Qualifier 3 – Barlow Park, Cairns
Pool A – Round 1 – France vs Lebanon – Canberra Stadium
Friday 3 November 2017
Pool A – Round 2 – Australia vs France – Canberra Stadium
Saturday 4 November 2017
Pool B – Round 2 – New Zealand vs Scotland – Christchurch Stadium
Pool B – Round 2 – Samoa vs Tonga – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Pool A – Round 2 - England vs Lebanon – Sydney Football Stadium
Sunday 5 November 2017
Pool C – Round 2 - Papua new Guinea vs European Qualifier 2 – Port Moresby
Pool D – Round 2 - European Qualifier 3 vs USA – Townsville Stadium
Pool C/D – Round 2 - Fiji vs European Qualifier 1 – Townsville Stadium
Friday 10 November 2017
Pool D – Round 3 - Fiji vs European Qualifier 3 – Canberra Stadium
Saturday 11 November 2017
Pool B – Round 3 – Samoa vs Scotland – Barlow Park, Cairns
Pool B – Round 3 – New Zealand vs Tonga – Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Pool A – Round 3 – Australia vs Lebanon – Sydney Football Stadium
Sunday 12 November 2017
Pool C/D – Round 3 – Papua New Guinea vs USA – Post Moresby
Pool C – Round 3 - European Qualifier 1 vs European Qualifier 2 – Perth Rectangular Stadium
Pool A - Round 3 - England vs France - Perth Rectangular Stadium
Friday 17 November 2017
Quarter Final – Darwin Stadium
Saturday 18 November 2017
Quarter Final – Christchurch Stadium
Quarter Final – Wellington Regional Stadium
Sunday 19 November 2017
Quarter Final – Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
Friday 24 November 2017
Semi Final – Brisbane Stadium
Saturday 25 November 2017
Semi Final – Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Saturday 2 December 2017
Final – Brisbane Stadium