The Women’s Rugby League World Cup in 2017 will be held alongside the men’s tournament for the first time.
The tournament will be held in Australia, who is the reigning champion in both of the tournaments. There are also plans for both the women and men’s finals to be played as a ‘double-header’ on 2nd December.
Australia, New Zealand, England, Papua New Guinea and Canada are a certain to feature in the tournament, alongside the winner of the Pacific qualifying series between Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands.
The move is a big one for women’s rugby, with the World Cup normally played in conjunction with the Festival of Rugby League. The female team play alongside police, defence, wheelchair and university competitions.
Andrew Hill, chief executive of the World Cup’s organising committee said, “It has always been the Board’s vision to have the Women’s Rugby League World Cup played concurrently with the men’s tournament and through the strong support of the NSW Government, we have been able to create what is a milestone moment for the sport.”
“It’s only fitting these gifted athletes get the opportunity to showcase their skills on a global stage.”
“We see next year’s women’s rugby league World Cup as a game-changer for the sport.”
“Female participation in all forms of rugby league is the fastest-growing category in the game and women’s international rugby league has made great strides forward in recent years.”
The women’s tournament will start on 16th November, while the men will have already reached the quarter final stages, having started on 27th October.