Rugby League World Cup Tips & Betting Advice


The 2017 Rugby League World Cup takes place in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea at the end of the year, and we’ve got all the fixtures and dates covered!

Defending champions and one of three host countries Australia lead the 14-nation 2017 Rugby League World Cup, which begins in Melbourne on October 27 and runs through to the grand final in Brisbane on Saturday December 2.

New Zealand and Papua New Guinea will also play host to what promises to be a spectacular month-long rugby league extravaganza.

Australia are the defending champions having conquered arch-rivals New Zealand by a dominant 34-2 scoreline when the tournament was held in England and Wales in 2013.

Every nation competing in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup have participated before, but it will only be the second competition for minnow nations Italy (2013), Lebanon (2000) and the United States (2013).

Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea are automatic entries due to being host nations (they all would qualify nonetheless), while England, Fiji, France, Samoa and Scotland all receive direct entry due to reaching the quarter-finals or better at the 2013 World Cup.

Ireland will be competing after winning the European qualifying group 2 stage, Italy are present following their victory in the European qualifying play-off, Lebanon make their first appearance since 2000 as they emerged triumphant in the Middle East-Africa play-off competition, the USA won the Americas qualifying group and Wales took out the European qualifying group 1.

Group A

Friday October 27AustraliaEnglandMelbourne Rectangular Stadium8.05pm (AEDT)
Sunday October 29New ZealandLebanonCanberra Stadium4.05pm (AEDT)
Friday November 3AustraliaFranceCanberra Stadium8.00pm (AEDT)
Saturday November 4EnglandLebanonSydney Football Stadium7.30pm (AEDT)
Saturday November 11AustraliaLebanonSydney Football Stadium8.00pm (AEDT)
Sunday November 12EnglandFrancePerth Rectangular Stadium6.00pm (AWST)

Group B

Saturday October 28New ZealandSamoaMt Smart Stadium, Auckland7.30pm (NZDT)
Sunday October 29ScotlandTongaBarlow Park, Cairns2.00pm (AEST)
Saturday November 4New ZealandScotlandChristchurch Stadium5.30pm (NZDT)
Saturday November 4SamoaTongaWaikato Stadium, Hamilton7.30pm (NZDT)
Saturday November 11New ZealandTongaWaikato Stadium, Hamilton5.35pm (NZDT)
Saturday November 11SamoaScotlandBarlow Park, Cairns5.30pm (AEST)

Group C

Saturday October 28Papua New GuineaWalesNational Football Stadium, Port Moresby4.30pm (PGT)
Sunday November 5Papua New GuineaIrelandNational Football Stadium, Port Morseby4.00pm (PGT)
Sunday November 12WalesIrelandPerth Rectangular Stadium3.30pm (AWST)

Group D

Saturday October 28FijiUSATownsville Stadium6.30pm (AEST)
Sunday November 5ItalyUSATownsville Stadium6.30pm (AEST)
Friday November 10FijiItalyCanberra Stadium7.45pm (AEDT)


Sunday October 29IrelandItalyBarlow Park, Cairns4.00pm (AEST)
Sunday November 5FijiWalesTownsville Stadium4.30pm (AEST)
Sunday November 12Papua New GuineaUSANational Football Stadium, Port Moresby3.35pm (PGT)

Knockout Stages

Date + RoundTeamTeamVenueTime
Friday November 17 (QF1)TBCTBCDarwin Stadium7.00pm (AEST)
Saturday November 18 (QF2)TBCTBCChristchurch Stadium5.00pm (NZDT)
Saturday November 18 (QF3)TBCTBCWellington Regional Stadium7.30pm (NZDT)
Sunday November 19 (QF4)TBCTBCMelbourne Rectangular Stadium4.00pm (AEDT)
Friday November 24 (SF1)TBCTBCBrisbane Stadium7.05pm (AEST)
Saturday November 25 (SF2)TBCTBCMt Smart Stadium, Auckland5.30pm (NZDT)
Saturday December 2 (Grand Final)TBCTBCBrisbane Stadium7.00pm (AEST)


Bookmakers bet365, Ladbrokes and CrownBet offer some of the best markets for the Rugby League World Cup. CrownBet are the official betting partner to the tournament and will have promotions and special offers through the RLWC. Alternatively, take advantage of the current top 5 bookmaker deals below.


You can place a huge array of different bets on rugby league and we look at some of the most popular ones.

HEAD-TO-HEAD: Head to Head betting is the easiest way to have a punt on most sports matches. Simply select who you think will win the game and if they emerge victorious so do you.


LINE BETTING and HANDICAP BETTING: Line betting is when the bookmaker handicaps a team by setting a specific margin with the aim on making the game even between the two sides. For example, if the bookmaker believes Team A is a 10-point better team than Team B, they will handicap Team A by 10 points. The line therefore becomes Team A to beat Team B by more than 10 points or Team B to come within 10 points of Team A. Then both outcomes become equal odds, which is ultimately around $1.90 the majority of the time.

WINNING MARGINS: Margin betting is when the bookmaker breaks up the number of possible end results by putting in a margin. The punter must therefore select the correct result as well as the correct margin. For example, if you believe Team A will beat Team B and want to also bet on the margin, you will have to correctly pick how many points will be between the two sides at the end of full-time. So if you think Australia will win in a margin of 1-12 points you’d select that option. Or maybe you think New Zealand will win a game by 13+ points.

HALF-TIME/FULL-TIME DOUBLE: This option allows you to bet on who you think will be leading the game at both halftime and fulltime. There are many possibilities that can occur in any match, particularly as a draw is an option.

Team A/Team A

Team A/Team B

Team A/Draw

Team B/Team B

Team B/Team A

Team B/Draw


Draw/Team A

Draw/Team B

FIRST TRYSCORER: This option allows you to choose which player on either team you believe will score the first try of the game. You can also bet on the last tryscorer in most games.


Only three nations have lifted the Rugby League World Cup silverware, with Australia winning a record 10 times, Great Britain prevailing on three occasions (last win in 1972) and New Zealand securing one title when they toppled the Kangaroos in a shock 34-20 victory in 2008.

Rugby League World Cup Winners

1954Great BritainFrance
1957AustraliaGreat Britain
1960Great BritainAustralia
1970AustraliaGreat Britain
1972Great BritainAustralia
1977AustraliaGreat Britain
1985-88AustraliaNew Zealand
1989-92AustraliaGreat Britain
2000AustraliaNew Zealand
2008New ZealandAustralia
2013AustraliaNew Zealand