If you haven’t heard, The Rugby League World Cup is coming to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea this year. Consider yourself invited. What do you need to know about this massive sporting event taking place in the Southern Hemisphere? Let us help:
1. Matches begin on October 27
The tournament will feature 28 matches to determine a champion. The first match begins on 27 October with the Final being played on 2 December.
2. The opening match is in Melbourne
Melbourne will begin the entire event by hosting the opening match. There will surely be pageantry!
3. The opening match is the best of group play
As if the excitement of the opening match isn’t enough, the matchup is one to behold. Australia will host England to launch the tournament. On paper, this match is the most competitive of the group stage.
4. Australia are the reigning champions. England is ranked #3 in the world
The last time these two teams met in the Rugby League World Cup was 2013; a 28-20 thrilling win for eventual champions, Australia. England needs your support if they want to pull the upset.
5. Tickets are available right now
A match of this magnitude is sure to sell out. Right now, there are tickets available, but don’t wait too long to snatch yours!
6. Grab a craft brew before the game
A little beverage wouldn’t hurt before the match kicks off. Where better to get yourself ready for the game than a craft brewery within walking distance to the stadium? The city is full of breweries and pubs ready to pour you a pint. For an exceptional experience head to Moon Dog Craft Brewery where tasty craft beer is accompanied by adventurous and delicious pizza.
7. There is lots to do in the city before and after the Rugby
Melbourne is a must-visit destination even without the Rugby League World Cup. Explore the city’s famous cafes, laneways, and museums before or after the rugby. Be sure to try the acclaimed restaurants within the city and visit the legendary beaches just a short tram ride away.
8. The match is in Melbourne but there are amazing things to do outside of the city
You could spend weeks exploring Melbourne alone but you’d miss the incredible scenery of Victoria if you just stayed in the city. So many unforgettable sights are to be seen just a short drive away including a parade of live penguins, lush vineyards, pristine national parks and one of the world’s most famous drives; The Great Ocean Road.
9. Melbourne also hosts a quarterfinal game
On 19 November, Melbourne hosts its second match of the competition; a knockout round contest. The match will feature the 2nd place team from Group A.
10. That game could also feature England
Oddsmakers believe England will finish behind Australia in Group A. That would make England the 2nd place team in the group and ensure them of a place in the quarterfinal match to be held in Melbourne.
11. The games in Melbourne are at AAMI Park
A world-class competition deserves a world class stadium and that’s exactly what Melbourne has in AAMI Park. The stadium was built in 2010 and is one of the most modern rugby facilities in the world.
12. AAMI Park is easy walking distance to central Melbourne
It’s possible to be in the Central Business District of Melbourne eating dinner and within a thirty-minute walk be through the gates of the stadium.
13. The tournament takes place in the spring
Heading to the Southern Hemisphere means swapping seasons. While the UK will be descending into winter, Melbourne will be full of blooming flowers and long days.
14. This opportunity won’t happen again for at least another 12 years
With England set to host the 2021 tournament and North America confirmed for the 2025 tournament, it’s going to be awhile before Melbourne hosts again! Enjoy this special opportunity to see the sport in front of its most passionate fans by heading to Australia.
Convinced that Melbourne is the place to be this October and November? Head to our official website www.visitmelbourne.com for trip planning ideas to make you extend your visit before or after the opening match.