2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifying

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Fourteen teams will participate in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. In August 2014 it was announced that seven teams had been granted automatic qualification, with four regional qualification tournaments selecting the remaining seven teams.[1] Qualification began in earnest on 9 May 2015 when Spain played Latvia in a knock-out match, although the European Group B competition (which was used as a preliminary qualification tournament) began on 17 May 2014. As of 12th December 2015, 11 teams have qualified.

Qualified teams

Eight teams automatically qualified for the World Cup. Seven of the teams which reached the quarter-finals of the 2013 World Cup were granted automatic qualification; the other quarter-finalists, USA, were denied automatic qualification due to an internal governance dispute and instead forced to enter the qualification process.[2] Papua New Guinea were granted automatic qualification as co-hosts in 2015.[3]

Team Method of
qualification
Date of
qualification
Finals
appearance
Last
appearance
Consecutive
finals
appearances
Previous best
performance
 Australia Host 19 February 2014 15th 2013 15 Winners (1957, 1968, 1970, 1975, 1977, 1988, 1992, 1995, 2000, 2013)
 New Zealand Host 19 February 2014 15th 2013 15 Winners (2008)
 England Automatic qualifier 5 August 2014 6th 2013 5 Runners-up (1975, 1995)
 Fiji Automatic qualifier 5 August 2014 4th 2013 4 Semi-final (2008, 2013)
 France Automatic qualifier 5 August 2014 15th 2013 15 Runners-up (1954, 1968)
 Samoa Automatic qualifier 5 August 2014 5th 2013 5 Quarter-finals (2000, 2013)
 Scotland Automatic qualifier 5 August 2014 4th 2013 4 Quarter-finals (2013)
 Papua New Guinea Host 8 October 2015 7th 2013 7 Quarter-finals (2000)
 Tonga Asia-Pacific play-off winner 17 October 2015 5th 2013 5 Group stage (1995, 2000, 2008, 2013)
 Lebanon Middle East-Africa play-off winner 31 October 2015 2nd 2000 1 Group stage (2000)
 United States Americas qualifying group winner 12 December 2015 2nd 2013 2 Quarter-finals (2013)

Europe

Three teams will qualify from this region. A two-group, round-robin tournament will take place in autumn 2016 to determine the qualifying nations - this will be contested by the winners of the European C tournament, the top three teams from the European B tournament, and seeded nations Wales and Ireland.[4]

Preliminary rounds

Preliminary play-off

9 May 2015 Latvia  12–32  Spain Upesciema Stadionā, Riga
  • Latvia was eliminated and Spain advanced to the European C tournament.[5]

European Championship C

The winners of the European C tournament advanced to the final qualifying tournament.

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Difference Points
 Spain 2 2 0 0 116 34 +82 4
 Malta 2 1 0 1 60 40 +20 2
 Greece 2 0 0 2 4 106 -102 0
26 September 2015 Spain  40–30  Malta Valencia, Spain
10 October 2015 Malta  30–01  Greece Marsa, Malta
17 October 2015 Greece  4–76  Spain Athens, Greece
  1. ^ Malta were awarded a 30-0 victory by the RLEF after Greece defaulted. The Hellenic Federation of Rugby League has struggled to keep financially stable due to Greece's recent economic troubles. The Greek side was unable to make the trip to Malta following the withdrawal of two sponsors.[6]

European Championship B

The top three teams from the 2014–15 European B tournament advanced to the final qualifying tournament.

Team Played Won Drawn Lost For Against Difference Points
 Serbia 6 5 0 1 196 73 +123 10
 Russia 6 4 0 2 137 31 +106 8
 Italy 6 3 0 3 142 54 +88 6
 Ukraine 6 0 0 6 80 256 –176 0


17 May 2014 Serbia  40–14  Ukraine Zeleznicar Stadium, Nis
24 May 2014 Russia  24–18  Ukraine Vereya Stadium, Vereya
21 June 2014 Russia  20–6  Serbia Nara Stadium, Narofominsk
5 July 2014 Italy  54–12  Ukraine Stadio Comunale, Gemona del Friuli
26 July 2014 Italy  22–18  Russia Stadio Comunale, Gemona del Friuli
10 September 2014 Serbia  45–6  Italy Makiš Stadium, Belgrade
16 May 2015 Serbia  20–15  Russia Makiš Stadium, Belgrade
20 June 2015 Italy  14–21  Serbia Stadio Comunale, Gemona del Friuli
4 July 2015 Ukraine  20–34  Russia Makiš Stadium, Belgrade1
18 July 2015 Ukraine  12–40  Italy National University of Ukraine, Irpin
12 September 2015 Russia  26–6  Italy Fily Stadium, Moscow
12 September 2015 Ukraine  4–64  Serbia FC Locomotive Stadium, Chop
Notes
  1. ^ Match moved to neutral territory due to travel restrictions following the 2014–15 Russian military intervention in Ukraine[7]

Primary round

The final qualification tournament will consist of 6 teams - the top three teams from the European B tournament, the winners of the European C tournament and seeded nations Wales and Ireland. The tournament will feature two groups of three teams playing in a single round-robin format. The winners of each group will qualify for the World Cup, while the runners-up will face each other in a play-off match on 5 November 2016 to determine the final spot. A seeded draw will take place to determine the groups on 5 November 2015.

Key to colours in pool tables
Qualifies for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup
Qualifies for play-off match for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup
Fails to qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup

Group A

Team
Pld W D L TF PF PA +/− Pts
 Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
 Serbia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
 Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
15 October 2016 Wales  v  Serbia Stebonheath Park, Llanelli
22/23 October 2016 Serbia  v  Italy
29 October 2016 Italy  v  Wales Stadio Brianteo, Monza

Group B

Team
Pld W D L TF PF PA +/− Pts
 Russia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
 Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
 Spain 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
15 October 2016 Russia  v  Spain Fili Stadium, Moscow
22/23 October 2016 Spain  v  Ireland
29/30 October 2016 Ireland  v  Russia

Qualifying play-off

5 November 2016 Group 1 runner-up v Group 2 runner-up Leigh Sports Village, Leigh, England

Asia-Pacific

Two qualifying places were initially allocated to this region. Papua New Guinea were granted automatic qualification in 2015 after being confirmed as co-hosts, leaving one additional team to qualify from this region. A single play-off between Tonga and Cook Islands determined the final qualifier.

17 October 2015 Tonga  28–8  Cook Islands Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown, Australia

Americas

One team qualified from this region. A three-team round robin tournament was held in Florida in December 2015 to determine the qualifier.[8]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
 United States 2 2 0 0 54 38 +16 4
 Jamaica 2 0 1 1 32 38 –6 1
 Canada 2 0 1 1 42 52 –10 1


4 December 2015 United States  20–14  Jamaica Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida
8 December 2015 Canada  18–18  Jamaica Spec Martin Stadium, DeLand, Florida
12 December 2015 United States  34–24  Canada Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville, Florida

Middle East-Africa

One team qualified from this region. A two match series was held between South Africa and Lebanon to determine the qualifier.[9]

25 October 2015 South Africa  12–40  Lebanon Brakpan Stadium, Pretoria
31 October 2015 South Africa  16–50  Lebanon Brakpan Stadium, Pretoria

References

  1. QUALIFICATION DETAILS FOR 2017 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP ANNOUNCED, rlef.eu.com, 3 August 2014
  2. Scotland qualify for 2017 World Cup after RLIF announce seven automatic places for quarter-finalists from 2013 World Cup dailymail.co.uk, 3 August 2014
  3. Papua New Guinea to co-host Rugby League World Cup
  4. "European Qualifiers for World Cup 2017 Announced". Rugby League International Federation. 2015-04-15. Retrieved 2015-04-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Road to World Cup 2017 starts in Riga". Rugby League International Federation. 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-04-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Greece withdraw from Malta trip". rlef.eu.com. 2015-09-02. Retrieved 2015-09-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Ukraine versus Russia Rugby League International to go ahead". Rugby League European Federation. 2015-06-11. Retrieved 2015-06-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers Awarded to Jacksonville & Deland, FL.
  9. "Venue changed for Middle East-Africa RLWC qualifier". Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation. 24 July 2015. Retrieved 2015-07-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>