Nines to get world cup in 2019
The wheels are in motion to add nines to the international rugby league calender.
The Rugby League International Federation confirmed they had received expressions of interest to host a Nines World Cup in 2019.
The event is set to run as a complement to England’s tour to Australia and New Zealand in 2019.
The shortened form of the game has gained popularity in recent years on the back of the annual NRL Nines tournament, held annually in Auckland since 2014. But it has yet to catch on at the international level.
It is hoped the tournament will help grow the sport’s fan base and, if successful, could become a four-yearly fixture.
The federation also confirmed that the 2021 Rugby League World Cup would feature 16 teams (made up of seven from Europe, six from Asia-Pacific, two from America and one from a playoff series hosted in the Middle East or Africa).
The organisation’s other major announcement was the launch of an Emerging Nations World Championship to be held in Sydney in 2018.
The board put $100,000 towards it for tier two and three developing league nations.
The tournament would feature more international teams than any of the federations other events.