Brazil Rugby League launch scathing attack on IRL and say World Cup is only for ‘Englishmen, Australians and their descendants’

On Thursday morning International Rugby League outlined the future of the international game with an announcement via their website that an international calendar running to 2030 had been scheduled.

That came following a meeting of the IRL with a number of nation’s governing bodies in Singapore on Saturday with key updates being that the cancelled 2025 World Cup will be hosted in the southern hemisphere in 2026, it will be reduced to ten teams from sixteen and there will also be a separate Women’s World Cup to promote the game as a stand alone given the rising quality.

An international calendar featuring the return of the Ashes, touring nations as well as the reintroduction of Tri and Four Nations series, but it was the World Cup talk that triggered that most reaction.

Some believed that reducing the tournament from sixteen to ten harmed the growth of the sport in nations such as Jamaica and Greece, both of whom were highlights at the 2021 World Cup.

Another nation that debuted at the 2021 World Cup was Brazil with their women’s team qualifying and again being a standout for the fans, and Brazilian Rugby League have not launched a major attack on the IRL for their actions.

They did so via Twitter, with a long thread of Tweets to form a press release.

“The Brasil Rugby League has received bad news about the Rugby League World Cup for 2025 and the prospect for the international tournament through 2030.

“After a historic campaign, with the Men’s National Team, traveling to Colombia on its own resources, to beat Chile and Colombia, we discovered that our dream ended. The next World Cup, which will now be held in 2026 instead of 2025, with only Full Member countries allowed.

“The number of participants will be reduced from 16 to 10. This is an unprecedented setback for the sport and for Brasil Rugby League, especially off of such a strong recent performance.”

They continued by attacking the way that the IRL ranks nations.

“Recently Brasil has been downgraded in the ranking, being placed under Chile due to inactivity. However both countries haven’t played a ranked game since the South American Cup, when Brasil beat Chile, which begs the question how is this ranking calculated?

“Clarity over the rankings and how future tournaments will be run and the qualifying process urgently needs to be laid out publicly.”

They concluded by attacking the idea of the World Cup being limited to Anglo-speaking nations, before promising positive news soon.

“We would like to apologize to the entire Brazilian Rugby League community, to all athletes who travelled many hours to attend just one XIII match, to the referees who officiate several games in the same day, and to the sponsors who invested and supported them.

“The Rugby League World Cup has been turned into a Commonwealth Cup, with Englishmen and Australians and their descendants, with ironically the only non-anglo speaking country and that has native players participating being France, the country that put us in all this chaos.

“Unfortunately, where politics go, sportsmanship exits, but Brasil will not shy away from the challenges of developing an amateur sport. Even without any visibility of international events or investment in the grassroots we will maintain our perseverance and commitment.

“We’ll have some good news to announce soon, all made with the help of the community and volunteers who really make the sport happen.”

The full thread and statement can be read below.