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Rugby League World Cup 2017 final set for Brisbane
The organisers of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) have released the event’s tournament draw, with the opening game, between Australia and England, to be held at Melbourne’s AAMI Park on 27th October next year and the final to be held at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on 2nd December 2017.
With games to be held in New Zealand (in Auckland, Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington), Papua New Guinea and in Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Perth and Townsville, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the draw is that just two games will be held in NSW.
Introducing the draw, RLWC Chief Executive Michael Brown said the Organising Committee made a deliberate decision to take the tournament games to more fans than any World Cup has done before.
Brown explained “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.
“Over the course of the pool stages we have looked to position matches in strong rugby league communities and where large populations of ex-pats, Pacifica and indigenous fans live, to give those who love the sport and their national teams the chance to see some World Cup action.
“The decision to take matches to places like Darwin, Perth, Christchurch and Port Moresby were made with the future of the game in mind.
“They are matches we believe will give profile to the sport in markets that have already shown an appetite for rugby league.”
With the Queensland Government bidding for Suncorp Stadium to host the 2019 NRL Grand Final, hosting the Rugby League World Cup final is seen as major coup for the state.
With Cairns and Townsville each hosting three World Cup pool matches, including a double-header, Queensland Tourism and Major Events Minister Kate Jones said Queensland had scored the major games of the World Cup, stating “this is a major coup for the state and will focus the attention of millions of rugby league fans on Queensland.
“The games at Suncorp are expected to sell out attracting tens of thousands of interstate and international visitors and generate up to 120,000 visitor nights for Queensland.
“The World Cup’s biggest games (will) drive visitation, supports jobs and fosters pride in our state.”
Staging the final at the 52,500 capacity of Suncorp Stadium, which hosted the 2008 World Cup Final, is expected to bring considerable benefits to the Queensland hotel and entertainment industries.
However, the big surprise of the draw is that just two games will be held in NSW – the pool matches, England v Lebanon and Australia v Lebanon at the Allianz Stadium.
With NSW tourism and events agency Destination NSW reportedly not willing to fund fixtures, NSW’s rugby league heartland of Western Syndey, Wollongong and the Hunter Region will be watching from a distance while the event is on.
Tickets for Rugby League World Cup 2017 Tournament go on general sale on 27th October 2016.
Rugby League World Cup 2017 Tournament Draw (stadium names as per ‘clean stadium’ requirements)
27th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, Australia vs England, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
28th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, PNG v Euro Q1, Port Moresby (venue TBA)
28th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, New Zealand vs Samoa, Mt Smart, Auckland
28th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, Fiji vs USA, Townsville Stadium
29th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, Scotland vs Tonga, Barlow Park, Cairns
29th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, Euro Q2 vs Euro Q3, Barlow Park, Cairns
29th October 2017, Pool - Round 1, France vs Lebanon, Canberra Stadium
3rd November 2017, Pool - Round 2, Australia vs France, Canberra Stadium
4th November 2017, Pool - Round 2, New Zealand vs Scotland, Christchurch Stadium
4th November 2017, Pool - Round 2, Samoa vs Tonga Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
4th November 2017, Pool - Round 2, England vs Lebanon, Sydney Football Stadium
5th November 2017, Pool - Round 2, PNG vs Euro Q2, Port Moresby (venue TBA)
5th November 2017, Pool - Round 2, Euro Q3 vs USA, Townsville Stadium
5th November 2017, Pool - Round 2, Fiji vs Euro Q1, Townsville Stadium
10th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, Fiji vs Euro Q3, Canberra Stadium
11th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, Samoa vs Scotland, Barlow Park, Cairns
11th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, New Zealand vs Tonga, Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
11th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, Australia vs Lebanon, Sydney Football Stadium
12th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, PNG vs USA, Port Moresby (venue TBA)
12th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, Euro Q1 vs Euro Q2, Perth Rectangular Stadium
12th November 2017, Pool - Round 3, England vs France, Perth Rectangular Stadium
17th November 2017, Quarter Final, Darwin Stadium
18th November 2017, Quarter Final, Christchurch Stadium
18th November 2017, Quarter Final, Wellington Regional Stadium
19th November 2017, Quarter Final, Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
24th November 2017, Semi Final, Brisbane Stadium
25th November 2017, Semi Final, Mt Smart, Auckland
2nd December 2017, Final Brisbane Stadium
*Kick off times to be announced ahead of tournament
Top image shows the captains of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea with the RLWC Trophy.
4th July 2016 - SUNCORP STADIUM SET TO HOST 2019 NRL GRAND FINAL
23rd June 2016 - RUGBY LEAGUE CENTRAL, QUEENSLAND GETS OFFICIAL OPENING
16th February 2016 - NEW NATIONAL FOOTBALL STADIUM OPENS IN PAPUA NEW GUINEA
16th November 2015 - NRL TO OFFER 2016 STATE OF ORIGIN TICKETS FOR AS LITTLE AS $35
29th October 2015 - SIGNIFICANT ATTENDANCE FALLS ACROSS STADIUMS QUEENSLAND VENUES
13th June 2015 - MICHAEL BROWN TO HEAD 2017 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP TEAM
20th November 2014 - AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND UNITE TO STAGE RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP 2017
26th November 2008 - RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP RECORDS $4.5 MILLION PROFIT
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