The World of Rugby League Heads Down Under
Like thousands of expats every year, the world’s best rugby league players will be followed Down Under by thousands of travelling fans for the Rugby League World Cup which starts tomorrow in Melbourne, Australia. The tournament is set to be one of the best attended in Rugby League World Cup history with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea playing host to games.
At Britannia Turnbull’s Removals, sharing our hometown of Leeds with the current Super League champions, Leeds Rhinos, we thought we would introduce some of the countries taking part.
Coached by Aussie rugby league legend Wayne Bennett, England always enters the tournament with belief. Boasting some of the world’s greatest talent already playing Down Under like Sam Burgess, James Graham and Gareth Widdop, it would be no surprise to see some of England’s other talent like Kallum Watkins, George Williams, John Bateman and Ben Currie tempted to stay in Australia to play their club rugby on the back of a successful tournament. A lot of hope will ride on Castleford scrum half Luke Gale who could be the spark that England need on the field.
England start their campaign tomorrow in Melbourne in a huge opening game against Australia.
The hosts and reigning champions Australia are strong favourites going in the tournament. Having won ten of the fourteen World Cup tournaments since it began in 1954, the conveyor belt of Australian talent continues and Mal Meninga’s side will expect nothing but lifting the trophy at the final in Brisbane. This all with one of the all-time greats of the game, Jonathan Thurston ruled out through injury. Youngsters Cameron Munster and Michael Morgan are ready to partner Cooper Cronk in a strong half back pairing.
Matches are being played in Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville, Canberra, Perth, Cairns and Darwin before the final in Brisbane and, if you are considering a more permanent stay in Australia, you can take a look at our guide here.
Second place last time out in 2013, the Kiwis won the last World Cup held down under in 2008 shocking Australia in the final at Brisbane. Coach David Kidwell will have to deal with some notable absentees this time round which might affect their progress against the stronger nations, but they still have some of the best talent in the world on show. They will be targeting another final appearance where they will want to call upon the spirit of 2008 and spring another shock.
New Zealand will have the opportunity to call upon some home advantage as joint-hosts with Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Hamilton hosting matches, you can find more information on these cities and international removals to New Zealand as whole in our online guide.
Rugby League is a hot property in North America at the moment. With Canadian side Toronto Wolfpack rising through the European leagues, there is talks already to branch in to America with a side based in New York within the new two years. America calls upon much home grown talent that will be want to match an impressive 2013 performance by reaching the semi-finals. With multi-title winning Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott in charge, anything could happen.
If you would like to following rugby league overseas to the USA then you can see our guides on California & New York.
Best of the Rest
Tonga are widely fancied to do well thanks to some big name inclusions in their squad. The British Isles are also represented by Scotland, Wales & Ireland. The other nations hoping for a good tournament are France, Italy, Lebanon, Samoa, Fiji and final joint-host Papua New Guinea.← Britannia Turnbull’s International Guide: Spain Leeds’ Rural Parks →