Rugby League World Cup opening and closing dates confirmed for 2022

Next year's rearranged World Cup will kick off on October 15, with finals on November 19, organisers confirmed today (Thursday).

The Men's, Women's and Wheelchair World Cups . Picture by Simon Wilkinson/SWpix.com.

The event was scheduled for this autumn, but postponed after Australia and New Zealand refused to take part.

The opening match and the men’s/women’s double-header finals in 2022 will be played, as originally planned, at St James’ Park, Newcastle and Old Trafford, Manchester respectively.

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The tournament has been moved one week earlier than on the 2021 fixture list and a full revised match schedule will be confirmed before the end of this year.

England coach Shaun Wane at St James' Park, Newcastle, which will host the World Cup opening game in October next year. Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com.

The earlier start means RLWC2021 will fall between the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, so existing broadcast partners will air all 61 games throughout the tournament, as was set to be the case this year.

Tickets for 2021 will be automatically transferred to the corresponding fixture next year.

RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said: “I am delighted we have been able to announce the revised dates and can now look forward to the biggest and best rugby league World Cup ever in the autumn of 2022.”

“The continuing conversations with all our supportive hosts and venues have been hugely positive.

“We are confident we can deliver a similar tournament schedule, which will be communicated as soon as possible.

“Obviously, we are disappointed the tournament will not be happening as originally planned, but are determined to make next year a celebration of sport, unity, people, place and civic pride.”

Troy Grant, the International Rugby League chairman, added: “The Rugby League World Cup is the international pinnacle of our sport and I am delighted the new dates have been agreed meaning we can now push forward towards autumn 2022.

“Jon Dutton and the entire RLWC2021 team have worked tirelessly following the postponement being announced and I have total confidence that the 2022 incarnation of the tournament will be the best we have ever seen both on and off the field of play.”

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