World Cup 9s pools confirmed

England RL squad

England and Wales have both been named in Group B for this Autumn’s World Cup 9s, after the RLIF confirmed the pools for October’s tournament at the official launch in Parramatta overnight.

The 12-team competition is set to give fans a taste of what is to come in the 2021 World Cup and has pitted traditional rivals against each other in what is certain to be an exciting, fast-paced day of rugby league.

The three pools are:

  • Group A – Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, USA
  • Group B – England, France, Lebanon, Wales
  • Group C – Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga

All teams will play one match on Friday and a minimum of two matches on Saturday.

The two highest-placed teams from Group A will progress to the semi-finals, alongside the winners of Groups B and C.

The Nines format also features a number of key rule changes compared to the 13-man game. These include:

  • A Bonus Zone, giving teams the chance for a five-point try, will be included
  • A 20-40 rule, in addition to the 40-20
  • A 25-second shot clock on drop-kicked conversions
  • Golden Try in the event of a match drawn after regulation time
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg.

RLIF board member and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the pools for the competition were chosen to ensure exciting match-ups between traditional rivals.

“The World Cup 9s will feature the most exciting players to watch in the game, representing their nations and their cultures,” he said.

“It will be a festival of rugby league and the fast-paced, frenetic nature of Nines will be fantastic to watch.

“This is Rugby League rebooted – a unique and exciting way to showcase our wonderful athletes.”

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