Rugby League World Cup

Kangaroos dealt World Cup blow as another star commits to Samoa

Papalii has dabbled in the Samoan and Kangaroos camps in the past with four games with Samoa and 11 with the Kangaroos.

The Maroons veteran is the latest Australian eligible player to commit to a Pacific Island nation, joining Panthers duo Jarome Luai and Brian To’o.

“As an older player, I feel like it’s a movement I just don’t want to be missing out on,” Papalii said.

“Just seeing the likes of a few of the Penrith boys coming out and I’ve had few text messages from other players who haven’t come out yet saying they’ve put their hand up for Samoa.

Rugby League World Cup back on track as NZ, Australia commit to 2022

Just 100 days after pulling out of this year's event with little notice, Australian and New Zealand officials were among those to sign participation agreements for 2022.

A new schedule was released on Friday night, with the tournament starting a week earlier to avoid a clash with the FIFA World Cup but with the same order of games.

The Kiwis kick off their campaign against Lebanon in Warrington on October 16 followed by matches against Jamaica (October 22) and Ireland (October 28).

Rugby League World Cup: Australia and New Zealand pull out of tournament

The men's, women's and wheelchair events are scheduled to take place in England this autumn.

New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) chief Greg Peters said it was "simply too unsafe" to take part.

Rugby Football League (RFL) chairman Simon Johnson called it a "selfish, parochial and cowardly decision".

"Rugby League World Cup organisers have bent over backwards to offer every assurance to the Australians and the Kiwis," Johnson told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We are very unhappy with this decision and we are not prepared to take it lying down."

Toa Samoa coach keen to work with Johns Brothers, SBW

Speaking on Fox Sports at the weekend, Matthew Johns said he and younger brother Andrew wanted to help Samoa emulate the success of Tonga in the international game and had spoken with Sonny Bill Williams about forming a possible coaching trio.

Parish has been in charge of Toa Samoa since 2013 but did not view the comments as a threat to his position.

"We're happy to have them involved. The Board is united and we've spoken about it since this has come to air," he said.

Rugby League World Cup still on track

The Rugby League World Cup for men, women and wheelchair athletes will draw teams from 21 nations - including several which are still struggling with Covid-19.

Thirty-two teams from countries within the United Kingdom, Europe, North, South and Central America, the Pacific Islands and the Caribbean have qualified.

The tournament in England runs between 23 October and 27 November and for the first time, all three competitions will run concurrently.

Samoa’s Luai is player to watch in upcoming Rugby League World Cup

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Luai enjoyed a stellar season with Penrith in 2020, helping the Panthers reach the NRL Grand Final.

The 23-year-old playmaker has earned five caps for Samoa and represented the nation at the 2017 World Cup prior to making his first grade debut.

Samoa will be facing the hosts, England in the opener of the world cup at St James’ Park in Newcastle on Saturday, 23 October 2021.

NRL referee opens up on vile abuse after World Cup semi

Cecchin, who disallowed a try that would have given Tonga an upset win, has told The Sydney Morning Herald he was in an Auckland bar when police rang to tell him they had contacted him and several family members that had been targeted.

He was advised not the leave the hotel and told he would be picked up and taken to the airport.

On his return to Australia, he was picked up by the Australian Federal Police.

He also flicked through his phone to discover more than a thousand "vile" attacks, the likes of which he had never encountered across his entire career.

Samoa draw with Scotland to advance in Rugby League World Cup

The Samoans were forced to come from behind on Saturday against the lightly-rated Scots with two second-half tries securing a draw and third spot in group B.

Both sides finished with one point, however Samoa advanced because of their far-superior points differential.

The Scots ultimately paid the price after conceding 124 points in their first two group matches against New Zealand and Tonga.

Fiji book RLWC finals with Italy thrashing

The two nations had never met before Friday and they made up for lost time, producing a match that had everything a rugby league fan could ask for. 

Kiwis captain headed for Taumalolo showdown

Except from one very important man.

Jason Taumalolo has dominated every aspect of this week's pre-Test build-up, having rocked the Kiwis with his last-minute Cup defection to Tonga.

The 24-year-old powerhouse has done all he can to avoid the public spotlight before the showdown in Hamilton, but he'll do plenty of talking on the field, Tongan coach Kristian Woolf says.

"Jason is Jason, always the same - out there having a laugh, having fun and, like everyone else, looking forward to the challenge," Woolf said.