2013 Rugby League World Cup

By Matthew Brown, Date: 5/12/12

Next year is surely a key date for any Rugby League fan! Yes that’s right the RLWC 2013 is being held in the UK/France & Ireland. The tournament will occur in October and November 2013 with 14 teams vying for World Supremacy in the world of Rugby League!

In this fan’s eyes I believe that the tournament has been the most professionally run World Cup tournament run tournament run so far. We’re 12 months out from the tournament and already we have key dates, games, venues and times, package deals etc of the tournament. So this tournament so far seems to be getting the thumbs up.

So what exactly is the problem?

Well one problem about the tournament people seem to argue about is the qualification process. For those who aren’t sure here is how it was decided which teams qualified for the tournament, here is what happened,

12 Automatic Qualifiers
• Australia
• New Zealand
• England
• Scotland
• Wales
• Samoa
• Tonga
• Fiji
• Cook Islands
• Ireland
• Papua New Guinea
• France

Two through qualifiers
• USA (Americas stage with Jamaica and South Africa).
• Italy (Europe stage with Lebanon, Russia and Serbia).

Now it seems a little odd making 12 teams automatically qualifying for a tournament without going through a qualification process. USA and Italy being the only two teams to qualify for the tournament seems a little unfair on the potential for so many other teams which could have made the tournament as well.

Dragon Verdict?
Well the dragon believes that these teams should have gotten automatic entry into the 2013 World Cup for the following reasons.
• Australia (Four Nations champions 2009 & 2011)
• New Zealand (Four Nations champions 2010)
• Papua New Guinea (Pacific Cup Champions 2009)
• Cook Islands (Pacific Cup Runners Up 2009)
• Wales (Euro Cup Champions 2009 & 2010)
• England (Hosts for World Cup 2013)
• France (Hosts for World Cup 2013)
• Ireland (Hosts for World Cup 2013)
• Scotland (European Cup Runners up 2009)

The only other teams who earned their places were;

• Italy and USA (World Cup qualifiers)

The following teams should have gone through some sort of RLWC qualifiers,
• Samoa
• Tonga
• Fiji

For the 2017 tournament, things should be done a bit differently. Giving teams automatic qualification for participating in the previous World Cup is not only unethical but also unfair. These are the ONLY teams which should gain automatic entry into the 2017 World Cup;

• Hosts (Australia & New Zealand)
• European Cup Winners & Runners Up
• Pacific Cup Winners and Runners up
• Atlantic Cup Winners
• Four Nations Champions

So all up you’re looking at about 7 or 8 places of getting into the World Cup through tournaments. The other places should be up for grabs through World Cup qualifiers or other tournaments. So for a 14 tournament World Cup for example, a minimum of 5 or 6 places MUST be won through a qualification process…not by simply being involved in a World Cup from 4 years ago!

Jump in the forum and take the blog up with dragon himself http://forums.rugbyleagueplanet.com/topic/5010018/1/