Rugby League World Cup finals preview: Here is everything you need to know about this weekend's games
The Rugby League World Cup comes to a close this weekend with the finals of the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions.
Each tournament has provided drama and entertainment, as well as some heartbreak, in the last month.
There is still plenty to play for in the next few days as the finals quickly approach.
England V France (Wheelchair World Cup final):
The two standout teams of the wheelchair tournament go head-to-head at Manchester Central on Friday evening (K.O. 7.30pm).
England were dominant throughout the group stages.
Their opening game against Australia finished 38-8, and remains their tightest game of the tournament so far.
They followed that up with a 104-12 win over Spain and a 121-0 victory against Ireland to top Group A.
The semi-final tie with Wales proved to be more of the same from Tom Coyd’s side.
Jack Brown highlighted himself as a real danger man, as he went over for eight tries in the 125-22 win at EIS Sheffield.
Meanwhile, Seb Bechara’s performances has seen him collect the golden boot, with six tries and 47 line breaks under his belt so far in the competition.
The England pair both feature in the team of the tournament, in which Joe Coyd is also present.
France also had three inclusions in the side, with Lionel Alazard, Jeremy Bourson and Nicolas Clausells all featuring too.
Sylvain Crismanovich’s side have also enjoyed a strong journey to the final.
In the group stages they beat Wales 154-6, Scotland 80-15, and USA 116-6, before overcoming Australia with a 84-40 win in the semi-finals.
Australia V New Zealand (Women’s World Cup):
The opening game of Saturday’s double-header at Old Trafford is the Women’s World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand (K.O. 1.15pm).
Both sides were in action at York’s LNER Community Stadium on Monday night.
The Jillaroos overcame Papua New Guinea with a 82-0 victory in their semi-final tie, while the Kiwi Ferns beat England 20-6.
This followed a strong group stage for both.
Australia began the tournament with a 74-0 win over Cook Islands and a 92-0 destruction of France.
Meanwhile, New Zealand beat the same opponents 34-4 and 46-0.
The pair then went head-to-head in the final game of Pool B, with the Jillaroos coming away with a 10-8 victory.
Australia V Samoa (Men’s World Cup final):
Both Australia and Samoa progressed to the men’s final with narrow victories.
The game between the pair at Old Trafford kicks off at 4pm, following the conclusion of the women’s game.
Australia overcame New Zealand 16-14 in a thriller at Elland Road last Friday.
Meanwhile, Samoa beat England 27-26 on golden point at the Emirates, to bring the tournament to a painful end for Shaun Wane’s side.
The Kangaroos have enjoyed a good run to the final, beating Fiji, Scotland and Italy in the group stages, before overcoming Lebanon in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Samoa were defeated 60-6 by England in their opening game of the campaign, but have grown stronger throughout the tournament, with their last two games both being competitive affairs.
Wigan Warriors Involvement:
Declan Roberts and Adam Rigby have both been involved for Tom Coyd’s side on their route to Friday’s wheelchair final.
Meanwhile, former Wigan head coach Adrian Lam is Mal Meninga’s assistant with Australia.