Bankwest bonanza: Teams announced for World Cup Nines

Sixteen teams have been locked in for when the rugby league world is coming together at Bankwest Stadium in October for the World Cup Nines.

Tournament organisers have announced 12 teams will line up in the men's competition with four women's sides also taking part in the inaugural event on October 18-19.

Australia will be considered favourites for each trophy but the free-flowing nature of the Nines format means upsets can strike more often than usual.

They will face stiff opposition from England, New Zealand, Tonga, Samoa, France, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Wales, Lebanon, the Cook Islands and the United States.

In the women's draw, the Jillaroos will be up against England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

Canberra hooker Josh Hodgson said he would love to represent England in the tournament as it was yet another way of growing the game internationally.

"I think it's great for the international game. I've always said the more games we can play the better it's going to be to grow the game around the world and get the fans really involved," he said.

"The last few years we've really seen blokes up their hand up for different nations because they're really proud to represent their homeland.

"I think that's really important for the international game and made it really strong and it's become bigger and stronger in terms of quality.

"You throw an international nines in there and it might throw a bit of a spanner in the works in that some teams might throw up something a bit different from the normal [13-a-side game].

"So it's a really exciting concept and it should be great for the fans and every chance you get to play for your country it's a real honour, be it international nines or any other tournament."

NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the tournament was must-watch viewing for league fans.

"This will truly be a festival of Rugby League over two days," Greenberg said.

"We will have the colour and passion from some of the Pacific nations including Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, the might of Australia, New Zealand and England, as well as some emerging nations including Lebanon, the US and Cook Islands.

"This is an opportunity to showcase this exciting and unique brand of rugby league to a wider audience both in Australia as well as well beyond.

"We will see the best players in the world involved in the fast-paced, free-flowing and entertaining Nines format over one weekend in what will be a first for the game."

 

To witness the fun, skill and excitement of the Rugby League World Cup Nines, head to NRL Travel for travel packages

Tickets will go on sale for the tournament later this year. Supporters can register via a waitlist at https://www.nrl.com/waitlist/