PNG to host three Rugby League World Cup matches

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Papua New Guinea will host three pool matches of next year’s rugby league World Cup.

The draw will see the PNG Kumuls play against two European qualifiers and the USA in Port Moresby from October 28.

The overall tournament will be co-hosted by Australia, New Zealand and PNG.

“The decision to take matches to places like Darwin, Perth, Christchurch and Port Moresby were made with the future of the game in mind,” said World Cup Chief Executive Michael Brown. “They are matches we believe will give profile to the sport in markets that have already shown an appetite for rugby league.”

The tournament opens on October 27 with a blockbuster match between Australia and England in Melbourne. The final will be decided in Brisbane on December 2.

“The Tournament Draw demonstrates how far and wide we are taking matches, from established Rugby League communities, to those new and emerging fan bases in all three countries,” said Brown.

Eleven teams are already confirmed but the final three will need to qualify at a European tournament later this year.

Pool A: Australia, England, France, Lebanon
Pool B: New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga
Pool C: Papua New Guinea, European Qualifier 1, European Qualifier 2
Pool D: Fiji, USA, European Qualifier 3