Italy thrash Russia to claim last spot for RLWC2017
By Joshua Williams-Lawless
Last Updated: 05/11/16 2:19pm
Italy claimed the 14th and final spot for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup after their play-off win over Russia.The Azzurri thrashed the Russian Bears at the Leigh Sports Village 76-0, which means they qualify for their second successive World Cup.
Andrew Hill, CEO of the Rugby League World Cup, believes next year's event will be one of the strongest tournaments in the sport's history.
"The 2017 tournament will feature the greatest rugby league players from across the world, all aiming to win what will be the most competitive World Cup ever," he said.
"Fans are in for a real treat and should not delay in securing their tickets for this exciting international event."
Australia and New Zealand will co-host the tournament, with three pool games taking place in Papua New Guinea, from October 27 to December 2.
Italy will be in Pool D of the draw and will play their matches in Cairns, Townsville and Canberra.
Seven of the 22-man Italy squad play their club rugby in Australia and are widely expected to receive strong support at next year's event.
The 14 nations who will compete at the Rugby League World Cup are: Australia, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Italy, Lebanon, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga, USA and Wales.