Rugby League World Cup 2021: New dates confirmed for postponed tournament
The postponed RLWC2021 will kick off on October 15 next year and conclude on November 19; Newcastle's St James' Park will still host the opening game, with the men's and women's finals as a double-header at Old Trafford
Last Updated: 26/08/21 10:07am
The postponed Rugby League World Cup will kick off next year on October 15 and conclude on November 19, organisers have confirmed.
The tournament was put back to 2022 following the decision of reigning champions Australia and 2008 winners New Zealand not to travel to England this year due to concerns around the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new dates mean the World Cup will be held in the window between the end of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and the start of the football World Cup in Qatar.
"I am delighted that we have been able to announce the revised dates today and can now look forward to the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever in the autumn of 2022," tournament chief executive Jon Dutton said.
"The continuing conversations with all our supportive hosts and venues have been hugely positive. We are confident that we can deliver a similar tournament schedule, which will be communicated as soon as possible.
"Obviously, we are disappointed the tournament will not be happening as originally planned but we are determined to make next year a celebration of sport, unity, people, place and civic pride."
As planned, the men's tournament will begin with the opening match at St James' Park in Newcastle, while Old Trafford will host the double-header of the women's and men's finals.
Obviously, we are disappointed the tournament will not be happening as originally planned but we are determined to make next year a celebration of sport, unity, people, place and civic pride.
RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton
Organisers are now working with nations, venues, and hosts towns and cities to finalise a revised schedule for the men's, women's and wheelchair tournament, although had previously stated the order of matches would remain as initially announced.
"The Rugby League World Cup is the international pinnacle of our sport, and I am delighted that the new dates have been agreed meaning we can now push forward towards autumn 2022," IRL chairman Troy Grant said.
"Jon Dutton and the entire RLWC2021 team have worked tirelessly following the postponement being announced and I have total confidence that the 2022 incarnation of the tournament will be the best we have ever seen both on and off the field of play."
Supporters who have already purchased tickets for the tournament will have those automatically transferred to the corresponding fixture next year, although a three-week window for anyone wishing to obtain refunds is now open via the RLWC2021 official website.