30 Mar 2017

Sport: Rugby League Emerging Nations World Cup confirmed for 2018

12:36 pm on 30 March 2017

The Rugby League Emerging Nations World Championship is to be revived next year, with a two-week event in Western Sydney in November.

The event will feature Tier Two and Tier Three nations from around the world, with Niue and Vanuatu among the confirmed nations, alongside Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Philippines and Thailand.

"The 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship will feature more global teams than any previous rugby league competition," Rugby League International Federation Chairman Nigel Wood said.

"It will put the spotlight on the fact that rugby league is played in more than 60 countries and give recognition to the many volunteer players and officials around the globe who do great things for this sport."

Brothers and Vanuatu teammates Ben Lui (left), Tonny Lui (middle) and Danford Lui (right) with the Vanuatu and Solomon Islands Trophy.

Brothers and Vanuatu teammates Ben Lui (left), Tonny Lui (middle) and Danford Lui (right) could feature at next year's Emerging Nations World Cup. Photo: Vanuatu Rugby League

The RLIF Board has agreed to contribute $100,000 to the event, in the hope that participants return to their nation to spread the interest and growth in rugby league.

The Emerging Nations World Cup has been held twice previously, most recently in the United Kingdom in 2000.

The Niue squad in training before leaving for South Africa.

Niue will compete in the Emerging Nations World Cup. Photo: Facebook / Niue Rugby League

Path to 2021 World Cup confirmed

The qualification process for the 2021 World Cup was also agreed by the RLIF Board.

A 16 team tournament was rubber-stamped, including seven teams from Europe, six from Asia Pacific, two from the Americas and one from a play-off series hosted in Middle East/Africa.

The Quarter-Finalists from the 2017 World Cup will all qualify automatically for the following tournament.