After the disaster of the 2022 Rugby League World Cup, which went on forever, was full of extremely lopsided results, lost a whole lot of money, and ended with a pretty predictable result (Australia won), the Rugby League World Cup needs to be condensed down into a competition that is actually exciting to watch.
On Australia’s march towards winning the 2022 World Cup they had few challenges, too few games, where you went into the match expecting them to be challenged for the win. It was really only their semi final against New Zealand where Australia went int against an opponent that seemed like they would be a decent test for them.
The problem was that the World Cup had too many teams, and a format that was borrowed from soccer, where they have way more teams who can win the competition.
The qualification for the tournament is also way too ambitious. With so many teams from Europe who were completely uncompetitive involved, more than half the teams at the 2022 Rugby League World Cup were nothing short of poor teams who would lose to local A Grade teams in the Penrith football district.
The Rugby League World Cup needs to be a competition where we find the best team in the world. It is not the way you develop nations. It is supposed to be a showcase event.
Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Great Britain, Papua New Guinea, France. That is all you need.
It doesn’t need to go for a month and a half. It doesn’t need some fancy format that you need and abacus to work out. A quick tournament, straight to the point, make every game matter. Even if that means it is a flat out knockout competition.