International Rugby League have today announced their plans for the future of the sport on the global stage with confirmation of when the next World Cup will be, how many teams it will feature, a stand alone Women’s World Cup and the return of Four and Tri Nations tournaments but one that has got fans most excited is the return of The Ashes, with England head coach Shaun Wane claiming he’s “pumped” for it.
Following an IRL meeting in Singapore across the weekend the sport’s governing body released an announcement this morning of their international calendar before holding a press conference in which they addressed the media.
One man in that presser was England boss Shaun Wane and the former Wigan Warriors head coach had plenty to say about the calendar in general, but specifically the return of The Ashes.
“As a proud Englishman, as a kid I was brought up on the Ashes tours in Australia, so the chance to coach in that is immensely proud for me and my family,” Wane explained.
“I’m so happy that you’ve gone forward with the international rugby league calendar. It’s such a strong message to everybody for our game, the best game in the world.
“I think this morning’s meeting has been fantastic, it’s a real shot to the arm for the game.
“Even though we didn’t succeed in the World Cup over here but you look at the strength of Super League since the World Cup, it just shows the need for a strong international game.
“Well done to you guys for putting this together, I’m pumped!”
Both England men’s and women’s sides will tour Australia in 2025 before the Australian men’s team heads to England in 2028.
The Jillaroos will not head to face England in an Ashes series in 2028 on account of the fact that the women’s World Cup will now be hosted in separate years to the men’s, running in 2026 and then being brought forward to 2028 to start a new cycle all of it’s own.
This was explained as being a boost to put the spotlight on the women’s game as it’s own product and a huge tip of the hat for the sport and it’s rate of development and popularity.