Nines World Cup on the agenda

George Williams in England training - when will he next play a Test on home soil?
George Williams in England training - when will he next play a Test on home soil?

England will tour Australia and New Zealand in 2019 - in the same year a Nines World Cup will be launched.

The Rugby League International Federation announced the plan in a statement which also outlined an Emerging Nations World Cup in Sydney next year.
But there was no mention of whether England will play in 2018.

And it was unclear whether the Nines World Cup in 2019 would run at the same time as England’s November tour of Australia and New Zealand – effectively ruling out their best players.

The statement said: “The Board agreed that in 2019 the November tours by England to Australia and New Zealand should be complemented by an RLIF Nines World Cup.”

That line suggests plans to revive the Great Britain banner have been shelved.

There was also no mention of plans for 2020.

And given England play all their matches this year Down Under, there are no confirmed home matches for the national team until the World Cup in 2021.

The venue for the Nines World Cup has yet to be chosen, with the RLIF saying hosts who have shown “expressions of interest” will be discussed at the Sydney board meeting on May 9.

The shortened-version of the game was revived in February 2014 for the NRL Nines, and has proved popular as an annual event.

Wigantoday has contacted the RLIF for clarification.