New Zealand ready to rescue and host 2025 RL World Cup after France pulls out


NEW ZEALAND hopes to ride to the rescue of the Rugby League World Cup after France pulled out of hosting.

And it believes it will have a package – which could see them go it alone – ready to go within weeks.

New Zealand is willing to rescue the 2025 Rugby League World Cup after France withdrew from hostingSWPIX.COM

It would also take on all three versions – men’s, women’s and wheelchair – and holding matches in Pacific strongholds Tonga or Samoa is on the agenda.

International Rugby League bosses are scrambling to find a THIRD host for the 2025 tournament after financial uncertainty and changes in the Government forced France’s withdrawal.

But Greg Peters, chief executive of New Zealand Rugby League, hopes an answer can be provided sooner rather than later – with postponement to 2026 not wanted.

After starting talks with Australia before France’s decision, he told SunSport he hopes to learn: “By July, I hope.

“It would be for all three tournaments and where the finals would be – Australia or New Zealand – is not decided yet.

“We haven’t locked at schedule in total yet. Also, it depends if we share hosting or go alone.

“It is possible for 2025 and definitely that would be the initial goal, to keep it in the cycle.

“Particularly after the postponement of the 2021 World Cup, it would be good to avoid other major events around the world.

“So 2025 would be the first goal. If that’s too ambitious, the IRL could look at postponing it for another year, but our initial objective would be to try for 2025.”

2017’s tournament saw matches held in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea – since then Tonga and now Samoa have emerged as Test powerhouses.

Australia held on to the Rugby League World Cup by beating Samoa 30-10 last yearSWPIX.COM

But would the timescale to hold a match or matches in Nuku’alofa and Apia be too short? Peters has a simple answer, adding: “No.”

Peters will start talks with his home Government and big businesses both in Australia and New Zealand about funding the World Cup.

However, the 30,000 crowd that witnessed 2017’s semi-final between England and Tonga, made up almost entirely of Tonga supporters, shows the interest is there.

Guest posting agency=

Samoa’s historic place in last year’s final would add to the attraction, as well as seeing the Kiwis, Fiji, Australia and Cook Islands, if they qualify, on or near home turf.

New Zealand may co-host the 2025 tournament with Australia but could go it aloneSWPIX.COM

One thing taking the World Cup Down Under would mean, however, is extra costs to England, the home nations, European sides like Greece, France and any qualifiers is extra travel costs.

But Peters admitted any talk of meeting those expenses will not be known until it is decided who will play, saying: “The final structure will determine that.

“Bringing the international tournament down under is an exciting proposition not only for the fans but our indigenous and Pasifika communities.

“We need to have a viable alternative for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, as it’s the signature event.”

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email