2013 Rugby League World Cup

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2013 (2013) World Cup  ()
2013 RLWC
Number of teams14[1]
Host countries England
Winner Australia (10th title)

Matches played28
Attendance458,483 (16,374 per match)
Top scorerNew Zealand Shaun Johnson (76)
Top try scorer

Australia Brett Morris,

Jarryd Hayne (9)
 < 2008
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"2013 World Cup" redirects here. For the darts tournament, see 2013 PDC World Cup of Darts.
2013 (2013) World Cup  ()
2013 RLWC
Number of teams14[1]
Host countries England
Winner Australia (10th title)

Matches played28
Attendance458,483 (16,374 per match)
Top scorerNew Zealand Shaun Johnson (76)
Top try scorer

Australia Brett Morris,

Jarryd Hayne (9)
 < 2008
The World Cup's Opening Ceremony. (Video)

The 2013 Rugby League World Cup took place in England, Wales, France and Ireland.[2][3][4][5] between 26 October and 30 November 2013. It was the main event out of the year's Festival of World Cups. Fourteen teams contested the tournament: Australia, England, New Zealand, Samoa, Wales, Fiji, France, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Scotland, Tonga, Cook Islands, Italy and the United States, the last two for the first time.[6]

New Zealand were the defending champions, having defeated Australia in 2008. Australia won the tournament, beating New Zealand 34–2 in the final to lift the Rugby League World Cup for the tenth time.[7][8]

In terms of attendance, exposure and revenue, Rugby League World Cup 2013 is considered the most successful Rugby League World Cup of all time.[9]



The Rugby League International Federation has confirmed this competition as a part of its international programme. The RLIF announced a five-year plan to build up to the 2013 World Cup with the Four Nations tournament to be held in 2009, 2010 and 2011. It is hoped that more regular international competition will help develop the game. The competition was part of the UK's "Golden Decade of Sport".[10] 2013 was chosen as the year of the World Cup to avoid a clash with the London Olympics in 2012.[11] After 2013, the Cup will be held on a quadrennial cycle.

Host selection[edit]

In addition to the United Kingdom, Australia announced its intention to bid for the hosting rights, despite hosting the previous World Cup in 2008.[12] The Australian Rugby League had been preparing a rival bid due to the success of the 2008 event but the business plan presented by the Rugby Football League for the UK to be the host was accepted by the RLIF at a meeting in July 2009.[11][13] The event forms part of what is being dubbed a 'Golden Decade' in British Sport.[2]

The UK last hosted the World Cup in 2000, with the event generally being considered unsuccessful.[11]

Prince Charles welcomed representatives of all 14 nations and tournament organisers with a reception at Clarence House.[14]


There were two qualifying pools for the remaining two World Cup places; a European and an Atlantic pool, with one side from each to qualify.

The European Qualifying group involved Italy, Lebanon, Russia and Serbia while the Atlantic Qualifying group involved Jamaica, South Africa and the USA.[15] In the Atlantic Qualifiers the United States and Jamaica defeated South Africa in the opening rounds leaving the final match between the two to determine who qualified for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. United States defeated Jamaica to qualify for their first ever Rugby League World Cup.[16]


The competition featured fourteen teams, compared to ten in 2008.[1] Originally around twenty teams were to be involved in qualification,[17] but subsequently the total number of teams involved in the tournament was fixed at nineteen. Twelve nations automatically qualified; the ten nations that contested the previous World Cup, Wales as winners of the 2009 European Nations Cup[18] and the Cook Islands as runners up in the 2009 Pacific Cup.[19]

TeamNicknameCoachCaptainRLIF rank
 Australia (14th appearance)The KangaroosTim SheensCameron Smith1
 Cook Islands (2nd appearance)The KukisDavid FairleighZeb Taia18
 England (5th appearance)The Wall of WhiteSteve McNamaraKevin Sinfield3
 Fiji (4th appearance)The BatiRick StonePetero Civoniceva7
 France (14th appearance)Les ChanticleersRichard AgarOlivier Elima4
 Ireland (3rd appearance)The WolfhoundsMark AstonLiam Finn9
 Italy (1st appearance)The AzzurriCarlo NapolitanoAnthony Minichiello13
 New Zealand (14th appearance)The KiwisStephen KearneySimon Mannering2
 Papua New Guinea (6th appearance)The KumulsAdrian LamNeville Costigan6
 Samoa (4th appearance)Toa SamoaMatt ParishHarrison Hansen8
 Scotland (3rd appearance)The BraveheartsSteve McCormackDanny Brough11
 Tonga (4th appearance)Mate Ma'a TongaCharlie TongaBrent Kite10
 United States (1st appearance)The TomahawksTerry MattersonJoseph Paulo12
 Wales (4th appearance)The DragonsIestyn HarrisCraig Kopczak5

Match officials[edit]

Rules and officiating panel: Daniel Anderson, Stuart Cummings and David Waite.[20]


The games were played at various venues in England, Wales, Ireland, and France.

Group stage venues[edit]

Matches were subject to a bidding process run by the Rugby Football League.

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff was the host stadium for the opening ceremony and a double header featuring hosts England and Wales.[19]

Millennium StadiumThomond Park[22]KC StadiumJohn Smith's StadiumHeadingleyParc des Sports
Capacity: 74,500Capacity: 26,500Capacity: 25,586Capacity: 24,500Capacity: 21,062Capacity: 18,000
Millennium Stadium Reflected.jpgThomond Park.jpgKC Stadium before Hull v Burnley.jpgHuddersfield 002.jpgHeadingley Carnegie.jpgStade Avignon.JPG
St HelensWarringtonHalifaxPerpignanBristolSalford
Langtree ParkHalliwell Jones Stadium[23]The ShayStade Gilbert BrutusMemorial StadiumSalford City Stadium
Capacity: 18,000Capacity: 15,200Capacity: 14,061Capacity: 13,000Capacity: 12,100Capacity: 12,000
Langtree Park 3.jpgHalliwell Jones Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 1305630.jpgThe Shay.jpgTribune Guasch Laborde.JPGUplands StandBRFC.JPGSalford City Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 2865260.jpg
Leigh Sports VillageRacecourse GroundSpotlandCraven ParkDerwent Park[24]The Gnoll
Capacity: 11,000Capacity: 10,500Capacity: 10,249Capacity: 10,000Capacity: 10,000Capacity: 5,000
LeighStadium-May2008.jpgWrexham FC.jpgSpotland1.pngCraven Park - geograph-710492-by-Peter-Church.jpgScotland v Italy 2013 RLWC (Derwent Park 3).jpgThe Gnoll - Neath RFC - geograph-2277123.jpg

Knock-out stage venues[edit]

Headingley in Leeds, the Halliwell Jones Stadium in Warrington, the Racecourse Ground in Wrexham and the DW Stadium in Wigan hosted the quarter-finals. Both semi-finals were hosted at Wembley Stadium, with the final held at Old Trafford.

WembleyOld TraffordDW Stadium
Capacity: 90,000Capacity: 76,212Capacity: 25,133
Wembley Stadium interior.jpgView of Old Trafford from East Stand.jpgWarm up at the DW Stadium, Wigan - geograph.org.uk - 2012508.jpg


The match schedule was announced on 22 March 2012.[25] The Rugby League International Federation announced the kickoff times of the matches, with the opening kickoff to be held on 26 October in Cardiff, at 14:30 local time. The group stage matches will be played at 14:00, 14:30, 16:00, 16:30, 18:00, and 20:00 local time, with knockout stage matches at 13:00, 15:00, and 20:00 local time. The semi-finals will be played at 13:00 and 15:30 local time and the final, on 30 November 2013 at the Old Trafford stadium, at 14:30 local time.

All times listed below are in Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0) for English and Welsh venues. Central European Time for French venues and Western European Time for Irish venues.

Group stage[edit]

The draw, undertaken at the launch of the event in Manchester on 30 November 2010, involved four groups[19] The first two groups are made up of four teams whilst the other two groups feature three teams each. There will be a quarter-final round made up of the first three teams in the first two groups and the winners of each of the smaller groups. Group play will involve a round robin in the larger groups, and a round robin in the smaller groups with an additional inter-group game for each team so all teams will play three group games.[19]

Key to colours in group tables
Advances to knockout stage

Group A[edit]

England vs. Ireland, at the Johns Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield. England won 42-0
26 October 2013
Australia 28–20 England
28 October 2013
Fiji 32–14 Ireland
Spotland, Rochdale
2 November 2013
England 42–0 Ireland
John Smith's Stadium, Huddersfield
2 November 2013
Australia 34–2 Fiji
Langtree Park, St Helens
9 November 2013
England 34–12 Fiji
9 November 2013
Australia 50–0 Ireland
Thomond Park, Limerick

Group B[edit]

France vs New Zealand at Parc des Sports, Avignon. New Zealand won 48–0.
 New Zealand33002614634+1126
 Papua New Guinea3003522103–810
27 October 2013
Papua New Guinea 8–9 France
27 October 2013
New Zealand 42–24 Samoa
1 November 2013
New Zealand 48–0 France
4 November 2013
Papua New Guinea 4–38 Samoa
8 November 2013
New Zealand 56–10 Papua New Guinea
Headingley, Leeds
11 November 2013
France 6–22 Samoa

Scotland vs. Italy at Derwent Park, Workington. The game finished 30–30.

Group C[edit]

29 October 2013
Tonga 24–26 Scotland
Derwent Park, Workington
3 November 2013
Scotland 30–30 Italy
Derwent Park, Workington
10 November 2013
Tonga 16–0 Italy
The Shay, Halifax
Wales vs. Cook Islands at 'The Gnoll', Neath. The Cook Islands won 28–24.

Group D[edit]

 United States3201136458+64
 Cook Islands3102126478–142
30 October 2013
United States 32–20 Cook Islands
3 November 2013
Wales 16–24 United States
10 November 2013
Wales 24–28 Cook Islands
The Gnoll, Neath


Tonga vs Cook Islands at the Leigh Sports Village, Leigh. Tonga won 22–16.
26 October 2013
Wales 16–32 Italy
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
Referee/s: Ashley Klein
5 November 2013
Tonga 22–16 Cook Islands
Leigh Sports Village, Leigh
Attendance: 10,544
Referee/s: Ashley Klein
7 November 2013
Scotland 22–8 United States
AJ Bell Stadium, Eccles
Attendance: 6,041
Referee/s: Thierry Alibert

Knockout stage[edit]

Quarter-final No. 3 England vs. France at the DW Stadium, Wigan. England won 34–6
Quarter-final No. 4 Samoa vs. Fiji at the Halliwell Jones Stadium, Wariington. Fiji won 22–4

Quarter-finals will follow the group stage, with three teams from each of Groups A and B and one team from each of Groups C and D qualifying.

A1 Australia62
D1 United States0
A1 Australia64
A3 Fiji0
B2 Samoa4
A3 Fiji22
A1 Australia34
B1 New Zealand2
A2 England34
B3 France6
A2 England18
B1 New Zealand20
B1 New Zealand40
C1 Scotland4


15 November 2013
New Zealand 40–4 Scotland
Headingley, Leeds
Attendance: 16,207
Referee/s: Ben Cummins
16 November 2013
Australia 62–0 United States
Racecourse Ground, Wrexham
Attendance: 5,762
Referee/s: Henry Perenara
16 November 2013
England 34–6 France
DW Stadium, Wigan
Attendance: 22,276
Referee/s: Ashley Klein
17 November 2013
Samoa 4–22 Fiji
Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington
Attendance: 12,766
Referee/s: Richard Silverwood


23 November 2013
England 18–20 New Zealand
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 67,575
Referee/s: Ben Cummins
23 November 2013
Australia 64–0 Fiji
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 67,575
Referee/s: Richard Silverwood


30 November 2013
New Zealand 2–34Australia 
Goal: Johnson (1/1) 16'Report
Try: Slater (2) 19' c, 41' c
Cronk 30' c
B. Morris (2) 52' c, 72' c
Goal: Thurston (7/7) 4', 19', 30', 35', 41', 52', 72'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 74,468[26]
Referee/s: Richard Silverwood (England)
Man of the Match: Johnathan Thurston

Try scorers[edit]



Seven grounds achieved sell-out crowds, with four setting stadium records. Games held in both Wales and Ireland were watched by the biggest crowds ever for rugby league internationals in those countries.[27] The final was played in front of the largest crowd ever to attend an international rugby league fixture.[28]

26 October 2013Australia  vs  EnglandMillennium StadiumCardiff45,052
26 October 2013Wales  vs  ItalyMillennium StadiumCardiff45,052
27 October 2013Papua New Guinea  vs  FranceCraven ParkHull7,481
27 October 2013New Zealand  vs  SamoaHalliwell Jones StadiumWarrington14,965
28 October 2013Fiji  vs  IrelandSpotlandRochdale8,872
29 October 2013Tonga  vs  ScotlandDerwent ParkWorkington7,630
30 October 2013United States  vs  Cook IslandsMemorial StadiumBristol7,247
1 November 2013New Zealand  vs  FranceParc des SportsAvignon17,158
2 November 2013England  vs  IrelandJohn Smith's StadiumHuddersfield24,375
2 November 2013Australia  vs  FijiLangtree ParkSt Helens14,137
3 November 2013Wales  vs  United StatesRacecourse GroundWrexham8,019
3 November 2013Scotland  vs  ItalyDerwent ParkWorkington7,280[29]
4 November 2013Papua New Guinea  vs  SamoaCraven ParkHull6,871
5 November 2013Tonga  vs  Cook IslandsLeigh Sports VillageLeigh10,554
7 November 2013Scotland  vs  United StatesAJ Bell StadiumEccles6,041
8 November 2013New Zealand  vs  Papua New GuineaHeadingleyLeeds18,180
9 November 2013England  vs  FijiKC StadiumHull25,114
9 November 2013Australia  vs  IrelandThomond ParkLimerick5,021
10 November 2013Wales  vs  Cook IslandsThe GnollNeath3,720
10 November 2013Tonga  vs  ItalyThe ShayHalifax10,226
11 November 2013France  vs  SamoaStade Gilbert BrutusPerpignan11,576
15 November 2013New Zealand  vs  ScotlandHeadingleyLeeds16,207
16 November 2013Australia  vs  United StatesRacecourse GroundWrexham5,762
16 November 2013England  vs  FranceDW StadiumWigan22,276
17 November 2013Samoa  vs  FijiHalliwell Jones StadiumWarrington12,776
23 November 2013New Zealand  vs  EnglandWembleyLondon67,545
23 November 2013Australia  vs  FijiWembleyLondon67,545
30 November 2013Australia  vs  New ZealandOld TraffordManchester74,468

Pre-tournament matches[edit]

Before the World Cup it was announced that USA would face France in Toulouse,[30] Scotland would play Papua New Guinea at Featherstone,[31] England would play Italy at Salford,[32] New Zealand would play the Cook Islands in Doncaster[33] and England Knights would play Samoa at Salford.[34]

18 October 2013
France 18–22 United States
19 October 2013
Rochdale Hornets Rochdale colours.svg0–78 Fiji
19 October 2013
England 14–15 Italy
19 October 2013
England Knights52–16 Samoa
19 October 2013
Papua New Guinea 38–20 Scotland
Post Office Road, Featherstone[35]
20 October 2013
New Zealand 50–0 Cook Islands
Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster


In the United Kingdom the tournament was shown on the BBC and Premier Sports. The deal saw the BBC covering a minimum of seven matches, three of which were England pool matches, one quarter-final, one semi-final and the final. Premier Sports showed all 28 matches, with 21 matches exclusive to the channel, including all Australia matches apart from England versus Australia, all New Zealand matches, three quarter-finals and one semi-final. The BBC could have covered any other matches that were not exclusive to Premier Sports but only selected to do this for the opening Wales game against Italy. Under this deal the BBC will also cover some of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, 2014 Four Nations and 2016 Four Nations.

In Australia, Seven Network won the rights to broadcast the World Cup across all platforms, and showed all games live on 7mate.[36] In New Zealand, every match was shown live on Sky Sport,[37] while the tournament was covered in Papua New Guinea by EM TV.[38] The tournament was broadcast in Ireland on Setanta Sports 1.[39] French TV coverage was handled by beIN Sport, while all matches were broadcast in North Africa and the Middle East by OSN.[40][41]


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  2. ^ a b RFL (28 July 2009). "UK to host 2013 World Cup". Rugby Football League. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
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  4. ^ RTÉ Sport (28 November 2011). "Thomond to host Rugby League World Cup match". RTÉ. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  5. ^ "Hosts announced for the 2013 RLWC". http://www.therfl.co.uk. The Rugby Football League. Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
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  10. ^ "RLWC2013 venues". 2013 rugby league world cup official website. Rugby League International Federation Ltd. Retrieved 3 September 2011. 
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  12. ^ BBC Sport (20 November 2008). "Australia make new World Cup bid". BBC. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  13. ^ Ian Laybourn (20 November 2008). "Australia to bid for next World Cup". Sporting Life. Retrieved 28 July 2009. 
  14. ^ Laybourn, Ian (29 October 2013). "Prince Charles welcomes World Cup stars with Clarence House reception as England prepare for Ireland in front of sell-out crowd". Daily Mail. Retrieved 4 January 2014. 
  15. ^ 2013 World Cup format revealed lasttackle.com, 30 November 2010
  16. ^ Press Association (24 October 2011). "USA beat Jamaica to secure 2013 Rugby League World Cup berth". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 October 2011. 
  17. ^ 20 nations to vie for league World Cup AAP, 23 February 2010
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  20. ^ a b c Ref's call as one-punch rule gets knocked out for Rugby League World Cup smh.com.au, 16 October 2013
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  32. ^ "Rugby League World Cup 2013". Rlwc2013.com. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  33. ^ David Long (14 July 2013). "Kiwis Warm Up with the Cooks – league – sport". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
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  35. ^ http://www.sportinglife.com/rugby-league/live/match-report/39743/scotland-20-papua-new-guinea-38
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  37. ^ "SKY SPORT TO SCREEN 2013 RUGBY LEAGUE WORLD CUP – Headlines – League". Skysport.co.nz. 4 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  38. ^ "EM TV to show World Cup games". The National. 23 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  39. ^ "Aston names Rugby League World Cup squad". Setanta.com. 3 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  40. ^ "La Coupe du Monde de Rugby à XIII sur beIN Sport | News | beIN SPORT" (in French). Beinsport.fr. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 
  41. ^ "OSN – Rugby League". Osn.com. 23 October 2013. Retrieved 27 October 2013. 

External links[edit]