New Zealand will host some of the world’s top rugby league players when world cup matches are played across four regions of the North and South Island.
Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC2017) comes to New Zealand in October 2017 and promises to be another sporting festival which showcases the country’s unique form of welcome and hospitality. In recent years New Zealand has successfully hosted the Rugby World Cup, The Cricket World Cup and the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington in the North Island as well as Christchurch in the South Island will host games as part of the RLWC2017 tournament played across New Zealand, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
The best players from world’s top 14 teams will battle it out over 28 games from 27 October to 2 December in the quest for the ultimate prize - The Paul Barriere Trophy.
New Zealand will host seven matches including two quarter finals and a semi-final. The Kiwis will be joined on home soil by visiting teams from Samoa, Tonga and Scotland.
RLWC2017 opens in Melbourne on Friday 27 October when the Kangaroos play England.
New Zealand’s opening match will be played at the heartland of rugby league, Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, when the home side takes on Samoa on Saturday 28 October 2017. Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and visitors will discover a water-facing, stylish metropolis surrounded by a picturesque natural playground – all within easy distance of the sporting action.
The Kiwis play Scotland in a second round pool match in Christchurch on 4 November and the city also hosts a quarter-final at Christchurch Stadium on 18 November. Christchurch, New Zealand’s oldest city, is rebuilding and on the way to becoming a modern and creative hub filled with retrospective art, pop-up container centres, innovative bars and restaurants. Getting out into the Canterbury region will also offer visiting fans the chance to experience a variety of outdoor pursuits and thrilling adventures in what is New Zealand’s largest and most diversely geographic region.
Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, will host a quarter final on 18 November – featuring the home team if the Kiwis progress through to this stage. The city is a favourite with sports fans – Wellington Regional Stadium being just a short walk from the vibrant city centre bursting with world class cafes and restaurants. Lonely Planet described Wellington as the “coolest little capital in the world” for its lively urban culture and easy lifestyle in a dramatic natural harbour setting.
Two pool matches will also be played in Hamilton where Tonga will face off with Samoa in Round Two and then tackle the Kiwis to complete the pool stages of the tournament. Hamilton is New Zealand’s fastest growing city and sits in the lush farming district of Waikato in the centre of the North Island. The region has been a tourism destination with an international reputation for at least 125 years – initially visitors coming to see the underground lights of glowworm caverns in the famed Waitomo Caves. Now it’s the home of hobbits as featured in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies and visiting rugby league fans will find Hobbiton just a 35-minute drive from Waikato Stadium.
The final of the RLWC2017 will be played at Brisbane Stadium on Saturday 2 December.
RLWC2017 Chief Executive Officer, Michael Brown, says the organising committee made a deliberate decision to take the Rugby League World Cup to more fans than any world cup has done before.
Rugby League World Cup 2017 games in New Zealand
28/10/2017 Pool - Round 1 New Zealand v Samoa Mt Smart, Auckland
4/11/2017 Pool - Round 2 New Zealand v Scotland Christchurch Stadium
4/11/2017 Pool - Round 2 Tonga vs Samoa Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
11/11/2017 Pool - Round 3 New Zealand vs Tonga Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
18/11/2017 Quarter Final Christchurch Stadium
18/11/2017 Quarter Final Wellington Regional Stadium
25/11/2017 Semi Final Mt Smart, Auckland