Nines to get world cup in 2019

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - STAFF RE­PORTER

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.

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