It may seem one of the most bizarre statements to have ever been made, but this is rugby league after all.
The Rugby League World Cup is finally set to take place at the end of the year, a year after it was postponed with fears from Down Under over the Covid-19 issue still rife in the UK at that time.
Now, though, the sport’s most prestigious tournament will take place in October and November of 2022 as the world’s best go head to head in a bid to be crowned world champions.
With a date set for the final, however, things were finally looking as though this competition would not be changed or affected by anything outside of the sport.
That being said, the Sydney Morning Herald has revealed that two possible dates have been put in the calendar for the final of the Rugby League World Cup (RLWC) as a contingency plan, should Queen Elizabeth II die towards the end of the tournament.
The final is currently scheduled to be played on Saturday, November 19 at the home of Manchester United – Old Trafford.
However, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, organisers have stressed that the final could also take place the following day on the Friday, should the Queen pass away in the week before the final.
Protocol dictates the Queen’s funeral must be held on a Saturday, followed by a week of a mourning. Kensington Palace, however, have revealed that they would be fine with the final being played on Sunday, November 20 if the funeral was to be held the previous day – Saturday.
“When the Queen passes, the funeral has to be on a Saturday with a week of mourning,” Andrew Hill, strategic advisor for the southern hemisphere for the RLWC, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
“We’ve been given to understand a final on the Sunday is possible.”
The 2022 tournament is expected to be one of the most hotly anticipated competitions in history with the likes of Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and PNG prepared to push Tier One nations Australia, New Zealand and England all the way.