Rugby League World Cup

Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand pull out of tournament

The men's, women's and wheelchair events are scheduled to take place in England this autumn.

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) chief Greg Peters said it was "simply too unsafe" to take part.

Rugby Football League (RFL) chairman Simon Johnson called it a "selfish, parochial and cowardly decision".

"Rugby League World Cup organisers have bent over backwards to offer every assurance to the Australians and the Kiwis," Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We are very unhappy with this decision and we are not prepared to take it lying down."

Rugby League World Cup still on track

The Rugby League World Cup for men, women and wheelchair athletes will draw teams from 21 nations - including several which are still struggling with Covid-19.

Thirty-two teams from countries within the United Kingdom, Europe, North, South and Central America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean have qualified.

The tournament in England runs between 23 October and 27 November and for the first time, all three competitions will run concurrently.

Taumalolo is Tonga’s crucial player in 2021 Rugby League World Cup

The 27 year-old has been rated as the player to watch out for from Tonga, by the ultimate rugby league news website ‘Love Rugby League’.

Taumalolo is a household name in rugby league.

The 27-year-old has represented Tonga 13 times and has played for the kingdom in two World Cups.

The North Queensland Cowboys star is a Dally M Medal winner and was named in the 2017 World Cup Team of the Tournament.

Tonga will be playing against Papua  New Guinea on 26 October at the Totally Wicked Stadium.

     

NRL referee opens up on vile abuse after World Cup semi

Cecchin, who disallowed a try that would have given Tonga an upset win, has told The Sydney Morning Herald he was in an Auckland bar when police rang to tell him they had contacted him and several family members that had been targeted.

He was advised not the leave the hotel and told he would be picked up and taken to the airport.

On his return to Australia, he was picked up by the Australian Federal Police.

He also flicked through his phone to discover more than a thousand "vile" attacks, the likes of which he had never encountered across his entire career.

Fifita may stay with Tonga

Former Australia prop Fifita, denied what he thought was a fair try in the final seconds of an historic semi-final against England, said the team had "rocked the world" over the past five weeks.

"I'm here now - I think we all [are]," Fifita told reporters after the 20-18 loss before 30,003 fans at Mt Smart Stadium.

"Wearing a red jersey, we can't wait until the Pacific series next year. It took a few of us to rock the world. When I say rock the world, I mean we did."

Tongan comeback falls just short

Trailing 20-0 with eight minutes remaining, Tonga produced an incredible comeback to score three tries in five minutes, and were denied a fourth on the final siren, to fall agonisingly short of booking an historic World Cup Final berth.

Four-pointers to Tevita Pangai Junior, Siliva Havili and Tuimoala Lolohea sent the 30,003-strong crowd at Mount Smart Stadium into mayhem, and very nearly saw Tonga continue their incredible unbeaten run.

Academic says bias in coverage of Tongan league fans

In the build up to Tonga's game against Samoa there were a number of skirmishes on the streets of South Auckland, while after their historic first victory over New Zealand, hundreds of fans flooded the same streets.

Fifty-three arrests were made in Otahuhu that night, after what police described as "mass disorder".

Fiji book RLWC finals with Italy thrashing

The two nations had never met before Friday and they made up for lost time, producing a match that had everything a rugby league fan could ask for. 

Kiwis captain headed for Taumalolo showdown

Except from one very important man.

Jason Taumalolo has dominated every aspect of this week's pre-Test build-up, having rocked the Kiwis with his last-minute Cup defection to Tonga.

The 24-year-old powerhouse has done all he can to avoid the public spotlight before the showdown in Hamilton, but he'll do plenty of talking on the field, Tongan coach Kristian Woolf says.

"Jason is Jason, always the same - out there having a laugh, having fun and, like everyone else, looking forward to the challenge," Woolf said.

Fiji book RLWC finals with Italy thrashing

The two nations had never met before Friday and they made up for lost time, producing a match that had everything a rugby league fan could ask for. 

Breathtaking tries, wonderful individual performances, huge hits and three controversial sin-bins were just some of the highlights of the fiery clash that for a long time was a lot closer than the scoreboard suggests. 

Needing to win by 46 to progress to the quarter-finals, it was always going to be a tough ask for the Italians and they did not help their cause in the early stages.