Rugby League World Cup 2013

By Daniel Andruczyk

So finally the 2013 World Cup has been officially launched. The four groups featuring the 14 teams have been decided also, with two groups of 4 and two groups of three. For teams in the two 3 teams groups an interesting set up to give them an even number of games has been proposed. Also there are no super groups.

An Opportunity Missed?

However, I don’t know about any of you, but did anyone else miss this? There was no pomp and fanfare on this launch, no one knew who or how the teams were drawn and then it was a very low key affair Launching it. Is this another opportunity missed?

As has been the case for a long time now Rugby league, I feel once again has missed the chance to celebrate and promote the sport in pomp and fanfare. the IOC, FIFA and the IRB when they do the decisions for their respective events always have large function, to have fans come and be part of the ceremony. They are televised so everyone sees how the groups get divvied out. There was no such thing with the Rugby League World Cup, no way to show and promote ourselves amongst all the other sports.

Anyway what is done is done now. It will be interesting to see which towns will get games. We know that Wales is co-hosting with England. There will be 24 games in the group stages and 7 finals games. The potential is there for a great tournaments as long as it’s planned properly. The fact that its been launched so early is a good thing, It is giving the RFL time to make the right decisions and plan a good tournament.

The Groups

OK so here are the groups of the 2013 World Cup:

Group A
Group B
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Group C
European Qualifier
Group D
Cook Islands
Atlantic Qualifier

So Australia and England resume their old Rivalry. The teams will play each other once in the group and the teams in groups C and D will play games against opposing teams to make up the extra game. I am slightly surprised that Papua New Guinea and Fiji are in the groups of death as I call them. They should have been in Groups C and D, but then again if the draw was done at random as I hope it was then its the luck of the draw, but it would have been nice to have seen that draw on TV or listened to it on the Radio.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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55 Responses to “Rugby League World Cup 2013”

  1. dragons4eva says:

    Interesting how the World Cup is structured. I’m glad they haven’t gone with the super pool concept as in 2008. But it seems that they’ve tried to create as many ‘competitive’ games as they could. Promotion could have been a lil better here in Aus because there was a few internet and local Newspaper articles on it.
    But true atleast they have 3 years for all the nitty gritty stuff to get sorted out

    • druzik says:

      Yeah I have no probs the way its been done…. I just have a gripe it wasn’t promoted and made a big deal about.

      It just seemed to spring out of nowhere…. no one I have spoken too knew that this Launch was happening. Weird.

  2. Cheyne Maher says:

    Its exciting that they have announced all of this so far ahead of schedule. As you point out it would have attracted more attention if the launch had been better advertised! Apart from that i think there is a lot of thought going into the process of staging this tournament – certainly more than in the past with RL – which is great to see!

    The whole bidding process will definitely help with the exposure of the event and will no doubt lift the profile of individual games.

    I sent a suggestion to the RFL earlier saying that they should use the England v Ireland match as the opening ceremony – not the Australia v England game.


    1) The Aussies v England will already be a high profile game and attract a good crowd, so why not lift the profile of another match. England and Ireland enjoy a healthy rivalry and being in the UK both sides should attract plenty of support.

    2)The Australia v England and Ireland v Fiji games MUST be the final group matches staged from group one if the tournament is to gather momentum. If these two games are played first then all of the knockers will start whingeing that we already know who is going to finish first, second, third and fourth in that group (assuming no unlikely upsets). The remaining group one matches would then be anti-climatic. However if they leave these games till the final group round, the anticipation leading into these “crunch games” (see below) will build among supporters.

    3)The Australia v England and Ireland v Fiji matches are “crunch games” for all four teams involved and quite important in the scheme of things. All four sides would be in a better rhythm having played two matches (even though they will be more than likely one sided), prior to playing their most important group game, where there will be a lot at stake.

    Obviously the winner of the Ireland v Fiji match is almost certainly going to earn themselves a quarter final birth, which makes this game crucial.

    And I presume that the quarter finals and semi-finals will be structured so that the winner of group one and the winner of group two won’t meet before the final – which is a good thing. This places an enormous amount of importance on the Aus v Eng game as the winner would avoid meeting (most likely) New Zealand before the final – making their passage easier than the team that comes second in the group.

    This is what i do really like about this format (and even the 2008 super group format) – it allows the top three or four teams to seed themselves before the knock-out stages begin, which makes it very possible for the best two teams to make it through to the final. This is something the RUWC doesn’t do (eg. In 2003 it was basically assured that Australia and New Zealand would meet at the semi-final stage (assuming no upsets) and therefore couldn’t both make it through to the final.

    What do you think? For me its crucial they schedule the games in this order to avoid dead rubbers and to help increase the crowds. Is where i sent my suggestion the best place to have sent it? If you have a better contact feel free to pass it on (if you agree).

    On another topic i’m really happy that all teams have a realistic chance of making it past the group stages (which was the only real blemish on the 2008 format, where unfortunately PNG weren’t given a realistic chance – although they weren’t far off knocking over England in that first game).

    The way teams in group three and four play one game against a team from each others group is different, but its good that all teams get three games each. Personally i think they could have had 16 teams and throw in two more qualifiers into these groups. I wouldn’t have a problem with only one team out of four progressing from these “weaker” groups and it would basically be a similar number of games. Maybe they didn’t feel that the likes of Jamaica, Italy etc would have stepped up as much as they have over the past 12 months and thought the “top 14” would keep it more competitive? Either way the fact it has expanded from 2008 is a good thing i think and it is probably better to have good teams miss out than poor teams make it. This will ensure it is fiercely competitive and therefore successful, which will more than likely lead to further expansion in the future!?!

    All in all i think this is a massive step forward for the RLWC!

    Just one final question though Dan, all of the reports i have read have only mentioned USA, South Africa and Jamaica as potential qualifiers from the Atlantic group – is this just because Canada and Japan still have to play off for the fourth spot and the mainstream media are unaware of this or have these two been cut??


    • druzik says:

      Agree, it has been more thought out, but that is not too surprising considering that Lewis is in Charge there.

      The RLEF today cam out with a new technical strategic plan that is looking to have all the Nth Hemisphere countries com up to the top in the next several years.

      Your last question, yes that is correct, Japan and Canada will play out a qualifier, but when I spoke to Jamie Lester he was unsure weather Canada will compete anyway, as he wasn’t sure they will meet the requirements and be ready as a whole to compete.

      Japan is in a similar position. USA, Jamaica and South Africa at least meet all the criteria and are capable of playing 100%.

      • Cheyne Maher says:

        I just read that story on the RLEF site, sounds great!

        Ok, i supose Canada and Japan need to have a domestic comp up and running of some sort to meet that criteria yeah? Fair enough i supose. Lets hope it happens over the next 12 months.

      • druzik says:

        Yes, once again the European are showing the way to developing the game.

  3. Ashley says:

    A launch at last. Cities can now start bidding for games which I see has already begun.

    I have no problems at all with the groups. (except maybe that I think they are obviously fixed but that avoids
    Problems.) Though the international haters and people with chips on their shoulder are already hating on the world cup pretty much because it involves the RFL. No other sport would hate on their own world cup, as it is supposed to be a celebration.

    Its now down to the rfl to have 3 years of solid promotion. With deals like they do for the challenge cup, free child tickets, everything whatever. Hopefully by the time 2013 comes the puplic will be well aware of the RLWC.

    Oh and Ireland vs England, that is a tasty fixture Which doesn’t happen very often In league. I would love a pre world cup
    Friendly to help build this into a real
    Rivalry in our sport.

  4. PNG says:

    Not so sure on the group of death going on current form maybe but if png can get back to there form of 2008 sort out there internal disputes and have all players at there disposal I beleive are a strong chance of beating france and samoa given that they didn’t do so badly against england in this years four nations with a team made up of mostly amature players.Given that the top three from pool a and b progress through if they can get those two victories they would qaulify 2nd in there pool which by my understanding of the format would mean they would play the third placed team from pool a, likewise if fiji has a side like the one they had in the 2008 world cup hayne and uate may have fallen out of australia’s favour by then and could be back for fiji tuquri also by that stage may be out of contention for aus and may like to finish his career with a worldcup for fiji (as I have stated before I hate players switching there allegiance but i don’t think it will be stamped out by 2013) if fiji have the form of 2008 worldcup and england continue there dissapointing performances both fiji and ireland could push them all the way maybe even a upset . in all I realy like the set up for the 2013 worldcup far better in my opinion than that of 2008 only thing that I would have liked to have seen is maybe four pools of four, hopefully all teams will have plenty of preperation and warm up matches before hand to give all fans the worldcup rugby league deserves

  5. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Should be 16 teams.End of story.

  6. roml357 says:

    Dont know about 16 teams, maybe if we can get 8 teams playing regular international fixtures who would only get belted by australia by 30 points, maybe then we could expand to 16. I reckon 14 is to many. 12 I thought would have been a better call with perhaps the top 6 from 2008 world cup automatically qualifying and the rest having to qualify through regional cups to get into the 2013 world cup?
    They will probably go for 16 in 2017 if the 2013 is a succcess. I love Pool B, every game in that pool should be a cracker!

    • druzik says:

      Roml357 – We should not be scare of blow out scores!

      No other sport is, Union has 100 point blow outs in their world cup, yet no one comes out and says that their teams are a joke etc… even when full of ex-pats.

      Soccer also gets some big scores. What was it Nth Korea lost 7-0 to Apain or someone? No one said that they should give up playing the game did they.

      12 or 16 would have made more sense, I was a fan of 12, but what is done is done, its set now and so lets get ready for it I say 🙂

      If International Rugby League is handled properly then 2017 definitely will be 16 teams.

  7. Jon Alty says:

    Can’t wait!! It’s three whole years off but I’m excited already.
    How will the quarter final line ups be decided?

  8. C.T.SANDERS says:

    If we have less than 16 teams it makes our sport look third rate and indeed a laughing stock and where are france going to play their quarter final game this time around.In whitehaven.The poms can’t run a flea house and where are the profits going to.To prop up sl.

  9. roml357 says:

    Im not too worried about blowout scores just saying if we wanted to go to 16 teams maybe there should be more competitive nations going around first. Ireland, scotland, wales, france,png, tonga, samoa and fiji are all playing with some regularity now so hopefully there development will carry on.

    • druzik says:

      We have nearly 40 nations yearly playing International competitions. Henc why I felt 12 is a better number. WCs usually have 1/4 – 1/3 of the teams that are present in a competition, so that sits about right at 12 at the moment. But since they were insistent on going more than that then 16 would have been smarter.

  10. JMC says:

    Wales (as co-host) and Scotland get an interesting advantage in this system. Not only do they not have to play with the big 3, or even with France or PNG, their “extra” matches are against the qualifiers (who are presumably the weakest teams in the competition) while Tonga and the Cookies play each other.

  11. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Who cares how competitive the games are.I would rather see russia lose by 145 points to nil to the kangaroos than lose to team of no hopers like the nz police or the nz combine services teams that travel here there and everywhere and getting handouts from all their mates in the corridors of power.Talk about a mates game.

    • druzik says:

      That was my original point, I am not too worried about blow out score… a world cup for any sport is a celebration of that sport. In Soccer there are only about 8-10 teams out of 32 that have any real chance of winning, and its always the same 8-10. Similar in Unoin. So why should we be any different?

      • dragons4eva says:

        True Druzik, out of 14 teams ‘realistically’ they’ll be 3 teams who can win it. In Basketball it’s about the same as it’s really only Russia, USA, Argentina and 1 or two other nations who come close to winning the gold medal at the Olympics.

      • druzik says:

        Exactly, Union, has 20 teams, yet really only 4-5 that realistically can win it

        Soccer as I sid before in a 32 team comp, you have really only about 8 teams that can win it.

        And with both its always the same teams that seem to be there.

      • Cheyne Maher says:

        Agree totally, blow out scores can actually provide some very attractive RL. When you have two evenly matched teams, sometimes both play conservatively and while i personally love to watch such arm wrestles, like the recent 4 nations final, many casual supporters who haven’t grown up watching the sport believe this can be a little repetitive (run for six tackles and kick, run for six tackles and kick etc) – especially when they don’t ahve a vested interest in the match.

        Where as when you have say Australia v Fiji, like in the WC semi final of 2008, the Aussies threw the ball around and displayed their outstanding skills, which are quite attractive to the “newer” fans who are curious about the sport!

      • druzik says:

        One of the best games of the 2007 Union world cup was the All Blacks v Portugal game. Sure they won by over 100 points but at least I got to see some attractive Rugby Union, one of the few games of Union I have enjoyed.

        But what I remember about that game was the reports of it, the Portuguese were considered brave and plucky and were noble in their defeat… I am sure that would never happen in Rugby League.

  12. superpaulia says:

    Lets hope the RFL have more success in 2013 than they did in 2000 when the World Cup held in the UK almost forced them out of business.

    I heard rumours at the time that the then RFL chief Neil Tunnicliffe allegedly sold the TV rights for the World Cup based on minuted conversations held at International Board meetings. Sponsors allied to the ARL allegedly complained about this and the International Board was asked to arbitrate. The International Board (who are the ARL) sided with the ARL, several millions in compensation had to be paid and the chances of the 2000 World Cup were destroyed before it even started. It went on to make big losses and the compensation paid was a large proportion of this. No RL World Cups were held for eight years as a result

    I am not pretending that the 2000 World Cup was well organised but the RFL were unlucky with poor weather and travel problems. Neil Tunnicliffe left his post in strange circumstances, the RFL were left to shoulder these losses alone and almost went bust as a result.

    A few years later Neil Tunnicliffe wrote a cryptic letter to an RL newspaper in the UK conforming some of this information.

    Can anybody else shed some light?

    • druzik says:

      I have heard that as well, on top of that, though, the WC did make a profit, but it was used by the RFL to pay off their debts.

      But as always there was never any investigation, so no one really knows what happened.

      • superpaulia says:

        Did the 2000 WC make a profit? I’ve heard conflicting reports and I’m sure there was an investigation but stakeholders like us weren’t informed of the outcome.

        I’d like to know where the RFL’s debts came from. Were they from a compensation payout? Were they from a loss making World Cup? Were they from running SL at a loss?

        Either way, the men in suits (except Neil Tunnicliffe) who were responsible didn’t lose their jobs or take a paycut

      • druzik says:

        Yes it did , $5 million. Its what reported in the media quite a bit actually.

        The money has been used to fund the Pacific Cup and European Cups as well as Fiji and South Africa have got some Grants as has the RLEF.

  13. C.T.SANDERS says:

    You have hit the nail on the head daniel and bring back johnny quayle because without him the game is fycked. Since the cowboys and cowgirls have come into the game,the game has gone pearshaped because the fly by nighters know nothing about the game.Here one day gone the next.

  14. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Because they don’t want international football in case it fycks up the plight of their clubs.Talk about small-mindedness daniel and i can count on one hand the times you have mentioned your beloved sharks on this site which is after all your site.
    And you are right in that that the 2000 rl world cup did make a profit.It made a 2 million pound profit and the money went to prop up super league because summer rugby was losing money hand over fist.That was also agreed to by the members of the irlf in 2000.
    Sl has been a disaster since day one and in the 1930’s the administrators toyed with the idea of switching to summer and if that happened there wouldn’t of been a game like we know it today.There wouldn’t of been the cycle of tours which not only made our game unique but tours made money for the game which kept national bodies like the nzrl afloat for periods of up to 4 years at a time.Tours also helped build the foundations of the game and they also helped to develop players as well and improve the domestic competitions of the countries involved in the game especially in the earlier times without tv,radio and paid tv.
    ….. sir rodney walker who was the tournament organiser at the 2000 rl world cup and neil tunnicliffe and get the bully daniel.That’s the best i can do.

    • druzik says:

      I will only talk about Cronulla if there is a context, I hardly talk about them

      OK again… there are things you just can’t say legally, like talking about violence on people. Chris you have to use some discretion here mate.

  15. C.T.SANDERS says:

    The 1995 rl world cup featuring 10 countries also made a 2 million pound profot daniel and how much profit did the 2008 world cup make daniel?
    I also heard today that the 4 nations will only make a small profit.

  16. dragons4eva says:

    Hey Druzik there’s been reports that Japan and Canada can not qualify for the World Cup because of their domestic quota of not having 4 teams. Is this true because by what you’ve said that Canada and Japan would play off in a WC qualifier match to progress to play South Africa, Usa and Jamaica. What have you heard?

    • druzik says:

      Yeah, so the situation is basically as you say.

      Canada and Japan have been put down tentatively, but they do need to meet the criteria you point out. They do know this.

      I spoke to Jamie Lester from Canada and he said as much. Canada would like to be there at the end of the year, but I think 2017 is a more realistic goal for them. Japan may be able to make it. They were involved in the last World Cup qulaifiers.

      • dragons4eva says:

        Yeah i can understand where he’s coming from. But still i believe both Japan and Canada should be able to play in qualifiers if they have the financial abilities, players, travel arrangements etc etc. Like they played in this years Atlantic Cup in Jacksonville so hopefully the RLIF can see they’re willing to travel and work towards the World Cup.
        Also i hope Japan participate aswell. They played in USA in 2006 and regularly participate here in Oz for the Cabramatta 9’s.

      • druzik says:

        Well, they need to meet all the criteria, its not fair on any of the other nations who have done the hard yards then to see someone who hasn’t given a free ticket in. There needs to be some sort of integrity in there, and thankfully Kaoru and Jamier and all their guys see it that way. Out of Japan and Canada though, the Japanese are the most established.

        They are not out for profit or glory but want to see the sport grow and be sustainable. This does not mean having to be thrown in the deep-end straight away and they realise that they need to grow first.

        It is great that they could travel to Jacksonville, but I don’t think Canada is in any shape to be able to travel to the World Cup if they were to get in, lets say. That is just the reality. the other reality is that Italy at the moment doesn’t meet the requirements either and so I would suspect their position in the qualifiers is in doubt as well.

  17. C.T.SANDERS says:

    I don’t understand what you mean?What violence because in the past there has been plenty of threats towards me here in nz as well as you in australia and i believe kevin rudd in eastern europe.
    The people making threats have plenty to hide and the people i have mentioned on this site have no credibility in the game because they have all been caught out.
    That’s why i don’t get lawyers letters through the mail because i deal with the most experienced rl administrators in the world.
    What i write is true.

  18. C.T.SANDERS says:

    What i meant was type in or coggle sir rodney walker and neil tuncliffe.I used the word punch in or i will rephrase it all over again for all to see and using your keyboard daniel, type in sir rodney walker and neil tuncliffe on your search engine on your pc and see what you get in reguards to the 2000rl world cup.That what i literally meant and i am sorry you got the wrong end of the stick daniel.Sorry.

    • druzik says:

      I think you mean google…. lol

      yeah, I think you need to be care ful the way you word things as it cam across as you wanting to actually hit someone… I’ll try to be more vigilant as to the context.

      Also, wrong end of the stick also usually means coming out second best in a physical altercation…. I know what you mean I think, as i misunderstood you though.

  19. C.T.SANDERS says:

    Well english language is not my strong point but if we had a dozen johnny quayles there would be no need to write because the game would be in good hands.

  20. C.T.SANDERS says:

    And the portugal and all black game was real good daniel.I have a sleeping problem and can’t slleep but when i watched that game i fell asleep after 2 minutes.
    And we want a forsenic accountant to go through tha audits in reguards to the 2000rl world cup.The books should be opened up and where and how the profits were spent and the names of the people on the rlif who agreed to all of this.
    It should not be swept under the carpet.

    • druzik says:

      in the 2007 WC that was the only decent game of Union in the tournaments. You got an entertaining game. Most people including league fans said the same.

      OK 2000 was 11 years ago… as bad as it you need to move on,. By holding onto the past like a pit bull you will get no where… I think you are seeing this already.

  21. C.T.SANDERS says:

    The people who agreed that the 2 million pound profit should go to prop up sl in 2000 should now not be in the game at all.Some are still there and one an ex-lawyer is still bludging from the game,has too much to say and is not even registered as a lawyer, hence can’t make or give a legal ruling but only a opinion.Big deal.What use is he for the game because the 2000 rl world cup was not only a huge failure but an embarrassment for the game because summer rugby in the uk had brought the international game to its’ knees in 2000.
    They[the administrators] should of all hung their heads in shame and as far as i am concerned we were ripped off big time and the poms have a lot to answer for.
    No wonder people are still bitter because it stuffed up rl development in many countries notably south africa and it just about bankrupted new zealand rugby league because of the poms greed.
    At least we still have the product but not the administrators whereas rugby has always had no product but still has many great administrators who aren’t too scared to put heir hands in their own pockets for their game unlike our lot who all have short arms and long pockets.
    I hope there’s not going to a repeat of all this in 2013 and it should be a 16 team tournament and if the poms can’t cope, give it to someone who can.

  22. Clydesdale says:

    I opened the Sun Heralds “footy guide” for 2011 which encompasses rugby league, rugby union and australian rules, turned straight to the canterbury bulldogs page, then looked at the rep games. Oz v NZ, City v Country, State of Origin games all listed, NOTHING about the 4 Nations. Not suprised in the least the World Cup drew such little fanfare. Dont know why, but there seems to be an agenda against the international game(I know the listed the Oz NZ game but thats midseason). Such a shame the people who sell papers based on League stories dont promote ALL League stories

    • druzik says:

      Ahhh see its because it over in the UK that they don’t care… doesn’t matter that it the Australian Team playing… and as you point out that is the problem of the whole thing.

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