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Women get league world cup with men

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/09/2016

The 2017 women's Rugby League World Cup will be staged alongside the men's competition for the first time.

Organisers described the decision as "a game-changer" after announcing the final will form part of a double-header with the men's final in Brisbane on December 2.

In the past, the women's competition was part of the Festival of World Cups that also featured tournaments for the armed forces, police, wheelchair teams and universities but in 2017 it will stand alone and involve six teams from three different continents - England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

The final team will come from the Pacific qualifying series featuring Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands in Sydney next month after which the draw will be announced.

The pool matches and semi-finals will be played at Southern Cross Group Stadium, home of Cronulla Sharks, from November 16 next year.

Andrew Hill, chief executive of the World Cup's organising committee, says it has always been the vision to have the Women's Rugby League World Cup played concurrently with the men's tournament.

"It's only fitting these gifted athletes get the opportunity to showcase their skills on a global stage and we see next year's women's rugby league World Cup as a game-changer for the sport.

"To have both the women's and men's finals played on the same day, at the same venue will conclude what will be the greatest ever Rugby League World Cup."

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