30 Jul 2022
England to kick-off against Australia as PDRL World Cup schedule confirmed
The PDRL World Cup showcase event schedule has now been confirmed following a draw which took place live on Channel 4â€™s â€˜The Last Legâ€™ yesterday evening.
Presenters Alex Brooker and Josh Widdicombe, along with celebrity guest Rylan and Jess Phillips MP, took on the tackle bags to determine which teams would play who in the group stages.
As a player in the tournament itself, RLWC2021 Ambassador Adam Hills was excluded from the draw, and having stated earlier in that evening his intention to represent Australia, he was met with friendly jeering from the audience.
First to take on the challenge was Jess Phillips, whoâ€™s tentative tackle took down New Zealand, putting them as â€˜Team Aâ€™ in the draw. Next up was Alex Brooker, who hit the England tackle bag to decide the first match fixture. Fellow co-presenter Josh Widdicombe tackled down Wales, and Rylan went all-in on his effort, crashing into New Zealand to confirm the draws.
Adam Hills said: â€œChoosing between England and Australia was really tough. I literally have a foot in both camps. In the end I had to follow my heart and play for the country of my birth. Breaking the news to the England coach Shaun Briscoe (who is also one of my best mates) was like breaking up with a partner. I told him â€œitâ€™s not you, itâ€™s meâ€ and I hope we can still be friends.
ðŸ”’ Opening fixtures locked in
Following tonightâ€™s draw live on The Last Leg, we can confirm the first round of fixtures for the first ever PDRL World Cup!
Which tie are you most excited about?#RLWC2021 pic.twitter.com/xB9bfgrJof
— Rugby League World Cup 2021 (@RLWC2021) July 29, 2022
â€œSeriously though, being able to do the draw on The Last Leg was a genuine honour, and I canâ€™t thank Jess Phillips, Rylan, Alex and Josh enough for getting into the spirit of it. Iâ€™m so excited to play in the PDRL World Cup and Iâ€™m so grateful to RLWC2021 for placing so much emphasis on making the tournament inclusive. Theyâ€™ve given me and my teammates an incredible platform with which to help grow the great sport of Rugby League.â€
Shaun Briscoe, England PDRL Head Coach said: â€œIt was a pleasure to be involved in the draw for the PDRL World Cup showcase event live on TV tonight, and to start the building of momentum in such a high-profile way ahead of kick-off on 23 October.
â€œItâ€™s a shame Hillsy has decided to play for Australia, but we are looking forward to taking them on in the opening game and roughing him up a bit. Joking aside, the team and I are really excited to be playing in this tournament. Australia, New Zealand and Wales are really strong competitors so it will make for some thrilling games, and we are looking forward to getting stuck into our preparations.â€
England, Wales, Australia and New Zealand are set to battle it out in the showcase which will take place from 23 â€“ 30 October in Warrington. This runs alongside the RLWC2021 tournament, which will see the Menâ€™s, Womenâ€™s and Wheelchair events take place simultaneously it what is going to be the biggest, best and most inclusive Rugby League World Cup in history.
Full PDRL World Cup schedule:
Round 1, October 23, Victoria Park:
Wales v New Zealand - 2pm
England v Australia - 4.30pm
Round 2, October 25, Victoria Park
Wales v England - 2pm
Australia v New Zealand - 4.30pm
Round 3, October 28, Victoria Park
England v New Zealand - 4.30pm
Australia v Wales - 7.00pm
Finals, 30 October
Third place play-off - 2pm Victoria Park
Final - 7.00pm, Halliwell Jones Stadium