When does the Rugby League World Cup start? RLWC2021 start date, England vs Samoa kick off time, when is final

England is set to host the Rugby League World Cup 2021 which starts on Saturday 15 October 2022 and will conclude with the finale on Sunday 19 November.

We are only a few days away from the start of the Rugby League World Cup 2021 with more teams than ever competing in this year’s tournament.

The first League World Cup was held in France in 1954 with Great Britain competing as an entity rather than split into the four Rugby nations. Both France and the British Lions reached the tournament final, remaining unbeaten through the group stages against the two other nations. The Lions’ captain Dave Valentine saw his side emerge victorious with a 16-12 win over France at Parc des Princes in Paris.

It wasn’t until 1995 that the British and Irish nations split into their individual countries and now, nearly 70 years on from the inaugural event, 16 teams are set to compete in the tournament in what will be the World Cup’s biggest competition ever.

In the men’s tournament, Australia are the current holders of the title and have won 11 World Cups previously. They first won the tournament in 1957 when they were also hosting the World Cup.

The women’s tournament will enjoy its sixth edition this year and only two teams have previously won the World Cup: New Zealand and Australia. The Kiwis are the current holders of the trophy having won in 2017 in Brisbane.

Here is all you need to know about when the Rugby League World Cup will start...

Savannah Andrade against France in October 2021

When does the Rugby League World Cup start?

The tournament will begin with England playing Samoa on Saturday 15 October 2022 at St James’ Park Newcastle. Kick off is scheduled for 2.30pm BST. The group stages of the tournament will involve three match weeks. The first will be this upcoming weekend, Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 October. The second week will begin on Friday 21 October and conclude on Tuesday 25 October while the third and final group stage week will take place on Friday 28 October and end on Tuesday 31 October.

Following the three group weeks, the tournament will progress straight to the quarter-final stage. The four matches will take place on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 November. The four semi-finalists will then play on either Friday 11 November or Saturday 12 November.

When does the women’s Rugby League World Cup start?

The women’s tournament, which features eight nations competing, will begin on Tuesday 1 November with England playing Brazil and Papua New Guinea taking on Canada at Headingley, Leeds. The top two teams from each group will then play in the women’s semi final on Monday 14 November 2022 at LNER Community Stadium, York.

When is the Rugby League World Cup final?

After nearly a month of action, the two finalists will then meet on Saturday 19 November 2022 for a 4pm GMT kick off at Old Trafford in Manchester. The final in Manchester will be a double header as the women’s Rugby League final will take place earlier in the day at 1.15pm.

How to watch the Rugby League World Cup

All matches from the Rugby League World Cup will be available to watch and stream on BBC and BBC iPlayer. Matches, which include games from the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments, will be shown across BBC One, Two and Three with extensive coverage also on BBC Radio 5, Radio 5 Sports Extra and the BBC Sounds app.