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NRL: Rugby League World Cup all you need to know

The Rugby League World Cup will soon be underway with the top international men’s teams battling it out for glory, and Australia will once again be the nation to beat.

The tournament was due to be played in 2021 but was postponed for 12 months after both Australia and New Zealand pulled out.

But there are no issues in 2022 thankfully and 16 teams are gearing themselves up for the tournament which will get underway on Saturday 15th October.

The final is set to be played at Old Trafford, Manchester on Saturday 19th November.

What: Rugby League World Cup
Where: England
When: 15th October to 19th November 2022
How to watch: Kayo, Foxtel

The format

The 16 teams have been split into four groups of four teams and the top two in each group will then progress through to the knock-out stage.

The quarter-finals will see the winners of each group matched against one of the teams that finished second, with a place in the semi-finals up for grabs.

Then it is on to the semi-finals and final with the winner set to be crowned on Saturday 19th November.

The groups

Group A consists of host nation England along with Samoa, France and Greece.

Group B will see the hot fancies Australia up against Fiji, Scotland and Italy.

Group C is made up of New Zealand, Lebanon, Jamaica and Ireland.

Group D is Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Wales and Cook Islands.

England will open the tournament against Samoa on Saturday 15th October, while Australia will play Fiji later on in the evening.

The venues

A total of 18 stadiums across England will be used throughout the tournament.

They are as follows:

Old Trafford – Manchester. Emirates Stadium – London. St James’ Park – Newcastle. Elland Road – Leeds. Riverside Stadium – Middlesbrough. Bramall Lane – Sheffield. MKM Stadium – Hull. Coventry Building Soceity Stadium – Coventry. University of Bolton Stadium – Bolton. DW Stadium – Wigan. John Smith’s Stadium – Huddersfield. Headingley – Leeds. Totally Wicked Stadium – St Helens. Eco-Power Stadium – Doncaster. Halliwell Jones Stadium – Warrington. Leigh Sports Village – Leigh. Kingston Park – Newcastle. York Community Stadium – York.

Australian squad

Australia are out to win the Rugby League World Cup and have named a very strong squad for the tournament with some big names also being left out.

Some have suggested that Australia could name two squads capable of winning the World Cup, such is the strength in depth that Mal Meninga has available to him.

Gun fullback James Tedesco has been named as skipper of the side with Isaah Yeo and Cameron Murray named as vice-captains.

The big omissions from the Kangaroos squad are Penrith fullback Dylan Edwards and Cronulla Sharks playmaker Nicho Hynes.

They have both been named on the standby list along with another superstar in the form of South Sydney and NSW State of Origin ace Damien Cook.

The biggest question is who will play at halfback? With two of the very best in the game battling it out for the one position – Daly Cherry-Evans and Nathan Cleary.

Meninga has hinted that Cherry-Evans will start but no-one will know until the side to face Fiji in the opening game is announced.

Josh Addo-Carr (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) Matt Burton (Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs) Reagan Campbell-Gillard (Parramatta Eels) Patrick Carrigan (Brisbane Broncos) Daly Cherry-Evans (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles) Nathan Cleary (Penrith Panthers) Lindsay Collins (Sydney Roosters) Reuben Cotter (North Queensland Cowboys) Angus Crichton (Sydney Roosters) Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (Gold Coast Titans) Campbell Graham (South Sydney Rabbitohs) Harry Grant (Melbourne Storm) Valentine Holmes (North Queensland Cowboys) Ben Hunt (St George Illawarra Dragons) Liam Martin (Penrith Panthers) Latrell Mitchell (South Sydney Rabbitohs) Cameron Munster (Melbourne Storm) Cameron Murray (South Sydney Rabbitohs) – Vice-Captain Jeremiah Nanai (North Queensland Cowboys) Murray Taulagi (North Queensland Cowboys) James Tedesco (Sydney Roosters) – Captain Jake Trbojevic (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles) Jack Wighton (Canberra Raiders) Isaah Yeo (Penrith Panthers).

Other contenders

Australia have won the World Cup on 11 occasions and are going to take some stopping as they go in search of number 12.

However upsets do happen and if anyone is to stop them it looks as though it will be either New Zealand or England to do it.

New Zealand won the World Cup in 2008, while England’s best finish came back in 2017 when they lost to the Aussies in the final.

As far as dark horses go, Tonga are many peoples fancies to go a long way in the competition.

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