Ireland and Wales will contest the Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) after both countries topped their respective Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) qualifying groups with victories overnight.
As RLEF qualifying Group A winners, Wales, will take position “EQ1” in Pool C of the RLWC2017 tournament draw, with Ireland taking the place of “EQ2” as Group B winners.
RLWC2017 CEO, Andrew Hill, welcomed the addition of both teams to the sport’s pinnacle international event which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, with three pool games in Papua New Guinea, from 27 October until 2 December 2017.
“I’d like to congratulate both Ireland and Wales on qualifying for next year’s Rugby League World Cup.
“With large expat communities in Australia, we know these two teams will receive strong support and win over a legion of new fans during their respective campaigns.
“With less than 12 months to go until the tournament kicks-off on Friday 27 October 2017, we look forward to confirming the 14th and final team after the final qualifying match between Italy and Russia to be played on Friday 4 November.
“The organising committee is preparing to welcome all competing countries and their supporters to what will be the greatest Rugby League World Cup.”
The 2017 tournament will be the first time the Welsh Dragons have featured in a Rugby League World Cup played in the Southern Hemisphere since 1975, and the fourth consecutive appearance for Irish Wolfhounds.
Wales RLWC2017 pool matches v Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby on 28 October 2017 v Fiji, Townsville Stadium on 5 November 2017 v Ireland, Perth Rectangular Stadium on 12 November 2017
Ireland RLWC2017 pool matches v Italy, Barlow Park on 29 October 2017 v Papua New Guinea, Port Moresby on 5 November 2017 v Wales, Perth Rectangular Stadium on 12 November 2017