Competition structure

One game. Together.

The Rugby League World Cup has been the pinnacle of international rugby league since 1954. Now contested every four years, with a series of qualification tournaments leading up to it, the RLWC is open to all full and affiliate members of the International Rugby League (IRL).

In 2021, for the first time, the men's, women's and wheelchair competitions will be staged in a single, celebratory event, culminating in an epic finals weekend to crown the champions of each. RLWC2021 is set to be an unmissable event!

Key dates

All dates are subject to change

January - July 2018

Stage one: Host bid process

Towns and cities from across England and beyond commence the host process to express interest in staging RLWC2021 events. Stage one bids close 31 July 2018.

August to December 2018

Host bid candidate stage

Successful applicants from the initial host bid process proceed to the candidate stage.

June 2018

Men's qualifiers start

The qualification process for the men's competition will commence with European qualifiers. All RLWC2021 competing nations will be known by November 2019.

January 2019

Hosts announcement

Following a rigorous review and selection process, RLWC2021 hosts will be announced.

Late 2020

Tickets on sale

RLWC2021 tickets go on sale to the general public. More information will be released via RLWC2021.com in due course.

23 October 2021

Men's group stages start

Four groups of four teams commence competition across England.

9 November 2021

Women's group stages start

Eight teams will compete in 15 games across 18 days.

11 November 2021

Wheelchair group stages start

For the first time, the wheelchair competition will take place along side the men's and women's tournements, with eight teams competing.

12 November 2021

Men's quarter-finals start

19 November 2021

Men's semi-finals start

The winning teams from each of the quarter-finals will proceed to the semi-finals.

21 November 2021

Wheelchair semi-finals start

The top four teams from the group stages will compete for a place in the final.

22 November 2021

Women's semi-finals start

The top four teams from the group stages will compete for a place in the final.

26 November 2021

Wheelchair final

The wheelchair final takes place at the M&S Bank Arena, Liverpool.

27 November 2021

Women's final

Old Trafford, Manchester hosts the two winners from the semi-final in the women's final.

27 November 2021

Men's final

The men's final concludes the epic finals weekend and RLWC2021.

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