2017 Rugby League World Cup Preview

We cover a lot of sports and as this is not a World Cup year for the regulars, we found it fit to share some rugby betting odds from 888sport as we look at our friends from the code of Rugby League who will be celebrating the 15th edition of their respective competition to be hosted in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

One of the oldest tournaments in the world, the Rugby League World Cup dates back to 1954 when the first of its kind was held in France and also featured teams from Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The final was contested between France and Great Britain, with the latter claiming the Paul Barrière trophy.

The World Cup trophy which was commissioned at a cost of eight million francs, and then donated to the International Rugby League Board to be used for the inaugural competition in 1954 and thereafter was stolen in 1970 and after its recovery, the trophy was reinstated for the 2000 tournament onwards.

The Rugby League World Cup has followed a range of formats throughout its history as the number of teams increased over the years.

In 2017 the final tournament will follow the current format that has been in use since 2013 featuring 14 teams split into four groups; two groups of four and two groups of three. Three teams from the groups of four qualify for the knockout stages and one team from the groups of three qualify. Each team is awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw.

After the group stages the qualifying teams will progress to the knockout stages into the quarter-finals. The eight teams in the quarter-finals play each other with the four winners progressing to the semi-finals before the World Cup Final. If the two teams in the final play to a draw after 80 minutes extra time will be played and if the two teams are still level after extra time golden point will be played.

From inception until 2013 only Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain have been able to claim the Paul Barrière trophy with Australia crowned World Champions the most, winning ten of the fourteen tournaments to date. Great Britain have won it three times with New Zealand once.

The Kiwis have finished runners-up in three World Cups, while the French have been runners-up on two occasions, including the inaugural event.

England has also been at all tournaments held so far, but participated under the banner of Great Britain in the majority of the earlier competitions. England has finished runners-up on two occasions while the Great Britain team were runners-up four times. Fiji is another nation that has reached the semi-finals on two occasions, while Wales also made the semi-finals in 2000.

The likes of Ireland and Samoa have twice made it past the qualifying pool stages with other nations like Papua New Guinea, Scotland and the United States also proceeding to the knock-out stages.

Some of the odds doing the rounds that might entice you are as follow:

  • Australia to win 1/4
  • England 8/1
  • New Zealand 10/1
  • Tonga 25/1
  • Samoa 80/1
  • Fiji 150/1
  • United States 1,500/1

With the tournament being the main event of this year’s Festival of World Cups it is bound to be another spectacle as previous years gone by with nail-biting, hard-hitting, bone-crunching action with thrill to the minute tries being scored and new heroes being crowned.

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