Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rugby League Notes: Potential International In Denver, RLWC Expands

A couple of rugby league notes to pass along. 

World Cup Adds Spots

After missing out on the tournament for decades the Hawks have enjoyed two straight trips to the Rugby League World Cup. In their first appearance they made a surprise trip to the quarterfinals while this year, with a mainly domestic squad, didn't do as well. If that has led to concerns that they might miss the next edition in 2021 those fears can be put to rest. The tournament has expanded from 14 teams to 16 for 2021 with the Americas now being granted two spots. Previously there was only one spot for teams from the Americas (granted for the 2013 tournament). The U.S. has always been one of the top two teams in the Americas in recent years so it's looking good. They also have arguably the best domestic competition in the Americas. Other traditional contenders include Canada and Jamaica.

Take the jump to read more.

There are several reasons for increasing the number of teams. One, it means more money for the organizers. Two, it will create four balanced pools of four. Third, it will ensure that both the U.S. and Canada are likely to make the 2021 tournament. That is crucial to build momentum ahead of the 2025 World Cup that the U.S. and Canada will co-host.

Denver Could Host International

It's not just rugby union teams that are trying to break into the U.S. market, it's rugby league teams too. There are plans underway to have New Zealand and England play an international test in Denver in June next year. The match would be played at Investec Stadium and would be held sometime between June 22-24th. It should be emphasized that this match has not been confirmed. It's unclear how many fans they could draw in for a rugby league international considering nothing like this has been done in recent years.

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