The World Cup Draw Is Announced, But Not Really, By The Rugby Football League

Last night in England the Rugby Football League was supposed to announce all of the venues that would be used for the 2013 World Cup. For what ever reason, that did not happen and in all the confusion about why the announcement wasn’t being made, it felt like the RFL just decided to announce what it had, which wasn’t much!

The venues for the World Cup Semi Finals and Final have not been announced however venues other games would be played at were announced.

The first game of the World Cup will be between Wales and Italy in Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. It will be but a curtain raiser however to the clash between England and Australia. Yes….in Wales.

I don’t understand that either.

Of the interesting moves, we will see Ireland playing against Australia Thomond Park in Limerick, which is in Ireland for those that don’t know. France hosting New Zealand in Avignon and then Samoa in Perpignan.

Below in the full draw:

Group A
England v Australia
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff*

Fiji v Ireland
Spotland Stadium, Rochdale

England v Ireland
The Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield

Australia v Fiji
Langtree Park, St Helens

England v Fiji
KC Stadium, Hull

Australia v Ireland
Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick
* Double header

Group B
France v Papua New Guinea
MS3 Craven Park, Hull

New Zealand v Samoa
The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington

France v New Zealand
Parc des Sports, Avignon

Samoa v Papua New Guinea
MS3 Craven Park, Hull

New Zealand v Papua New Guinea
Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds

France v Samoa
Gilbert Brutus Stadium, Perpignan

Group C
Scotland v Tonga
Pow Beck Stadium, Whitehaven

Scotland v Italy
Pow Beck Stadium, Whitehaven

Tonga v Italy
The Shay Stadium, Halifax

Group D
Cook Islands v USA
The Memorial Stadium, Bristol

Wales v USA
Glyndŵr University Racecourse Ground, Wrexham

Wales v Cook Islands
The Gnoll, Neath

Group C/D
Wales v Italy
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff

Tonga v Cook Islands
Leigh Sports Village

Scotland v USA
City of Salford Community Stadium

Quarters Finals
Winner A v Winner D
Glyndŵr University Racecourse Ground, Wrexham

Runner Up A v 3rd place B
DW Stadium, Wigan

Winner B v Winner C
Headingley Carnegie Stadium, Leeds

Runner Up B v 3rd place A
The Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington

Semi Finals
Winner Q/F 1 v Winner Q/F 4
Venue TBC

Winner Q/F 2 v Winner Q/F 3
Venue TBC

The World Cup Final
Winner S/F 1 v Winner S/F 2
Venue TBC

A few things here…

A World Cup is supposed to be kicked off by the current World Cup holders taking on the tournament hosts. The Rugby Football Leagues ridiculous obsession with Australia has shone through here of course, and the idea that people in Wales want to turn up to watch England player….what the hell were they thinking?

The use of Craven Park in East Hull is perplexing. Hull has the magnificent KC Stadium, that is a great sized stadium, easy to get to, has all the facilities a fan could ever want, and yet in the RFL’s wisdom they have decided to play games at a relic of a stadium instead? Why?

The RFL have ye to finalize semi finals venues, and KC Stadium is expected to be one of them. So, what are they waiting for? Are we really at this late stage of World Cup planning and yet the best Rugby League stadium in Super League has yet to lock in a single game!

The final is expected to be held at Old Trafford in Manchester rather than Wembley Stadium in London…..

Wembley Stadium is the most famous stadium in the world. It is brand new, state of the art, and Rugby League has a rich history that was so vital to Wembley itself that its redevelopment included the RFL.

What type of stupid sport would turn its back on holding a World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium? What an occasion! What a venue! Playing a World Cup Final at Wembley Stadium will be the highlight of any players career!

Yet, we have the Rugby Football League considering Old Trafford, which I have been too, and while its an alright stadium, its just a bloody footy stadium!

The World Cup Final MUST be held at Wembley Stadium. Any other venue will just be a case of the Rugby Football League further downgrading international Rugby League, which they have done a very good job of for a long time.

I have made no bones about the fact that I expect this World Cup to be another RFL disaster. The set up of the group stages means that there are no games of any real consequence in the group stage.

The egocentric RFL have looked to highlight themselves, obsessed about Australia again, thrown token games at Wales and completely ignored the World Champion New Zealand team.

The problem this time around for the RFL is, if this World Cup financial cripples them as the 2000 tournament did, I can’t see the ARL and NZRL bailing them out again.

The 2013 World Cup should have been played in Australia and New Zealand. It is that simple.

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