The Simulation – Rugby Leagues International Tournaments – Year 4.

By Daniel Andruczyk

So far the first three years have had teams compete in regional championships like the European Cup.  The logical progression from these is that the winners then get to play in some higher cross regional tournaments, one being the RLIF Cup where its the natural progression from the current Four Nations, that is its been expanded to a six nations tournament. Today’s blog looks at the last year in the cycle which culminated in a 12 team Wold Cup and below that an 8 team International Cup.

World Cup

The World Cup has 12 teams qualify through the RLIF Cup, the Federation Shield and World Cup Qualification tournaments. The 12 nations are New Zealand, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Catalonia, Wales, Japan, Lebanon, Fiji, Tonga, United States and Papua New Guinea.

There are four groups of three teams with the top two going into the quarter finals. Results are: (Group A) New Zealand 12-25 Denmark, Denmark 27-35 Belgium, Belgium 15-19 New Zealand, (Group B) Germany 26-18 Catalonia, Catalonia 16-38 Wales, Wales 12-21 Germany, (Group C) Japan 19-27 Lebanon, Lebanon 20-20 Fiji, Fiji 32-35 Japan, (Group D) Tonga 14-21 United States, United Sates 41-26 Papua New Guinea, Papua New Guinea 23-25 Tonga.

Group A P W D L B PD PT
Denmark 2 1 0 1 1 5 2
Belgium 2 1 0 1 1 4 2
New Zealand 2 1 0 1 1 -9 2
Group B P W D L B PD PT
Germany 2 2 0 0 1 17 4
Wales 2 1 0 1 1 13 2
Catalonia 2 0 0 2 1 -30 0
Group C P W D L B PD PT
Lebanon 2 1 1 0 1 8 3
Japan 2 1 0 1 1 -5 2
Fiji 2 0 1 1 1 -3 1
Group D P W D L B PD PT
United States of America 2 2 0 0 1 12 4
Tonga 2 1 0 1 1 5 2
Papua New Guinea 2 0 0 2 1 -17 0
  • Quarter Finals
  • Denmark 37-33 Tonga, Germany 11-16 Japan, Lebanon 21-24 Wales, United States 24-32 Belgium
  • Semi Finals
  • Denmark 32-23 Belgium, Japan 23-30 Wales
  • 3/4 Play off
  • Belgium 31-23 Japan
  • Final
  • Denmark 22-29 Wales

So Wales are crowned World Cup champions. Despite not doing well in the European Cup, not winning into the Semis, Wales was still able to qualify through the Regional World Cup Qualifiers and win the World cup.

The four teams that didn’t make it through to the Quarter finals drop down into the quarter finals of the International cup.

International Cup

The International Cup can be compared to what used to be the “Emerging Nations World Cup”. But I am not a fan of such a name and I would rather there be a dedicated lower tier tournaments like this, it still allows nations to have a meaningful tournament and win some silverware.

The International Cup has two groups of four teams with the top two in each group going on to play the bottom four of the World Cup in a quarter finals. Results are: (Group E) Norway 29-17 Solomon Is, Czech Rep. 34-37 South Africa, South Africa 13-34 Norway, Solomon Is 31-29 South Africa, Norway 26-25 Czech Rep., Czech Rep. 29-20 Solomon Is, (Group F) Australia 35-28 Malta, Cook Is 40-21 Portugal, Cook Is 28-23 Australia, Malta 21-23 Cook Is, Australia 28-28 Portugal, Portugal 20-34 Malta.

Group E P W D L B PD PT
Norway 3 3 0 0 0 24 6
Czech Republic 3 1 0 2 0 5 2
Solomon Islands 3 1 0 2 0 -9 2
South Africa 3 1 0 2 0 -20 2
Group F P W D L B PD PT
Cook Islands 2 3 0 0 0 26 6
Australia 2 1 1 1 0 2 3
Malta 2 1 0 2 0 5 2
Portugal 3 0 1 2 0 -33 1
  • Quarter Finals
  • New Zealand 23-30 Norway, Catalonia 14-37 Cook Is, Japan 18-34 Australia, Papua New Guinea 21-17 Czech Rep.
  • Semi Finals
  • Norway 35-20 Papua New Guinea, Cook Is 18-26 Australia
  • 3/4 Play off
  • Papua New Guinea 27-24 Cook Is
  • Final
  • Australia 23-36 Norway

Norway are crowned the International Cup champions and show that despite losing out in the European Cup qualifiers they were still able to go through the World Cup qualifiers and get into the second tier tournament and win some silverware.

There are 12 Pool matches in the International Cup just like there are 12 pool matches in the World Cup. Like what happens with the RLIF Cup and Federation Shield the International Cup matches would be openers to the World Cup games. This would continue through the Finals as well.


While these tournaments are being played out, nations that have not qualified for any of these tournaments can start their regional championship qualifiers, this way all nations that play rugby League can be involved in important meaningful tournaments.


To conclude, I have shown a simulation of the 4 year cycle that I proposed last month, it shows how teams can progress through tournaments and win through to a World Cup. The tournaments themselves are very flexible in that you can add and subtract teams easily enough, the important structure is that the finals of the Regional championships, RLIF Cup and Federation Shield and World Cups are the same. Once the number of teams grows its easy enough to include more teams in the World Cup, the next logical step being that it goes to 16 teams. So you would have 8 teams qualifying through the RLIF Cup and Federation shield and then 8 rather than 4 teams qualify through via the qualifiers.

I feel this set up is a logical way of doing things, each tournaments is important on its own and can be marketed as such, but also they link together to allow teams to progress, they provide incentive for nations to strive to that ultimate goal of the World Cup.

One last incentive is that nations that have aspirations to host a World Cup can show what they can do by first aiming to host some of the minor tournaments. So Say Papua New Guinea can host a Pacific Nations Cup, Then a RLIF Cup / Federation Shield and is they show they can do these have the World / International Cups.

This system of tournaments can only help improve teams and the sport in its regions. The Regional Federations like the RLEF would host, promote and gain money from a European Cup, where as the RLIF would be in charge of the cross regional tournaments. Thus there is incentive by all nations and regions to make sure each tournament is as successful and profitable as they all stand the most to gain from it.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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