The 2017 Rugby League World Cup was officially unveiled on Tuesday, with members of Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea featuring prominently.
All three nations will host matches throughout the tournament, with a total of 28 fixtures to be played in what’s expected to be the most anticipated World Cup since it’s reemergence in recent years.
The World Cup will travel across three countries and will touch almost every region of Australia in the process.
The schedule has raised eyebrows though, with Sydney Rugby League fans experiencing just two pool matches.
Allianz Stadium will host the England-Lebanon (November 4) and Australia-Lebanon (November 11) clashes, but given the New South Wales Governments reluctance to invest further in the tournament, games have simply gone elsewhere.
Port Moresby will host PNG’s games against two European Qualifiers and a crossover match with the United States.
Fans in Far North Queensland are also big winners, with both Barlow Park in Cairns and Townsville Stadium getting three matches each.
Emerging Rugby League hotbeds of Western Australia and the Northern Territory are also on the itinerary, with NIB Stadium given two group fixtures and Darwin landing a Quarter Final.
Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Christchurch will host a share of matches as well, particularly involving New Zealand, Tonga and Samoa.
Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium will host one Semi Final and also the coveted World Cup Final.
Australia will open the tournament on October 27 against England at AAMI Park.
Group A: Australia, England, France, Lebanon.
Group B: New Zealand, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga.
Group C: Papua New Guinea, European Qualifier 1, European Qualifier 2.
Group D: Fiji, USA, European Qualifier 3.
Match Schedule -
October 27: Australia v England (AAMI Park, Melbourne).
October 28: PNG v Euro Q1 (Port Moresby).
October 28: New Zealand v Samoa (Mount Smart, Auckland).
October 28: Fiji v USA (Townsville Stadium).
October 29: Scotland v Tonga (Barlow Park, Cairns).
October 29: Euro Q2 v Euro Q3 (Barlow Park, Cairns).
October 29: France v Lebanon (Canberra Stadium).
November 3: Australia v France (Canberra Stadium).
November 4: New Zealand v Scotland (Christchurch Stadium).
November 4: Samoa v Tonga (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton).
November 4: England v Lebanon (Allianz Stadium).
November 5: PNG v Euro Q2 (Port Moresby).
November 5: Euro Q3 v USA (Townsville Stadium).
November 5: Fiji v Euro Q1 (Townsville Stadium).
November 10: Fiji v Euro Q3 (Canberra Stadium).
November 11: Samoa v Scotland (Barlow Park, Cairns).
November 11: New Zealand v Tonga (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton).
November 11: Australia v Lebanon (Allianz Stadium).
November 12: PNG v USA (Port Moresby).
November 12: Euro Q1 vs Euro Q2 (nib Stadium, Perth).
November 12: England v France (nib Stadium, Perth).
November 17: Quarter-final (Darwin Stadium).
November 18: Quarter-final (Christchurch Stadium).
November 18: Quarter-final (Wellington Regional Stadium).
November 19: Quarter-final (AAMI Park, Melbourne).
November 24: Semi-final (Suncorp Stadium).
November 25: Semi-final (Mount Smart, Auckland).
December 2: Final (Suncorp Stadium).