Foxtel Group has secured the coveted Australian broadcast rights for the World Cup, which begins with England’s hosting of Samoa at St James’ Park on 15 October and ends with the men’s and women’s finals at Old Trafford on 19 November.
The Kangaroos will open their Paul Barrier Cup defense against Fiji in Headingley on 15 October before facing Scotland in Coventry on 21 October and Italy in St Helens on 29 October.
Gelaro, who won the World Cup twice in 2013 and 2017, plays the Cook Islands, France and New Zealand in pool matches in York, starting on November 2.
The Willows are expected to open their World Cup campaign against England before a large crowd at London’s Copper Box Arena on November 3, before facing Ireland and Spain at the same stadium in their remaining pool matches.
“We know the RLWC2021 World Cup is going to be the most watched, and we are thrilled to have it broadcast in Australia on Fox Sports, keeping the rights within the NRL family and with a network that Australian audiences will feel comfortable and familiar with,” said John Dutton, CEO of RLWC2021. .
“This is a fantastic result for the International Rugby League and Australian fans.”
If the Kangaroos top their group, they will be on a collision course to take on New Zealand – the 2008 World Cup champions and currently the number one ranked country – in the semi-finals on November 11 in Elland Road, Leeds.
Kiwis are grouped with Lebanon, Jamaica and Ireland.
England and Samoa, whose group also includes France and Greece, are on the other side of the lot to kangaroos and kiwis, along with Tonga, Papua New Guinea, the Cook Islands and Wales.
“Fox League and Caio Sports are flying this season, and the addition of the Rugby League World Cup, now, is something of a hype,” said Fox Sports CEO Steve Crowley.
“All exclusive rights across 61 men’s, women’s and wheelchair football matches very much celebrate the best of the best – in the real home of rugby league.”
Crowley said securing the broadcast rights for the World Cup would boost Foxtel Group’s existing NRL, RFL and UK Super League content.
All 61 World Cup matches – comprising 31 men’s matches, 15 women’s matches and 15 wheelchair matches, including the November 18 final in Manchester Central – will be broadcast on Fox Sports and available on Foxtel and Kayo Sports.