With the men’s Rugby League World Cup entering the knockout stage, it’s time for the women’s Rugby League World Cup.
There’s just six teams competing (Australia, England and Cook Islands in Pool A; Canada, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in Pool B), with all games (except for the final) at Cronulla’s Southern Cross Group Stadium. Teams will play their pools opponents and an extra inter-pool game. The structure is vastly different to the men’s World Cup, with three triple headers on Thursday November 16th, Sunday November 19th and Wednesday November 22nd, with the semi finals played as a double-header on Sunday November 26th. In a huge boost for the women’s game, the Lang Park final is a curtain raiser to the men’s RLWC final on Saturday December 2nd.
The six-team, 12-game format is arguably fairer than the men’s version, with their group structure heavily skewed towards the strongest teams. Matches will be telecast on Channel Seven and 7Mate.
Australia enter their home tournament as defending World Champions (winning in 2013), breaking New Zealand’s stranglehold on the World Cup (winning in 2000, 2005 and 2008).