Sumary of Australia and New Zealand pull out of season-ending Rugby League World Cup:
- The 2021 Rugby League World Cup will be without its two biggest teams after Australia and New Zealand pulled out of the tournament “because of player welfare and safety concerns”.
- In a joint statement, the Australia Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) reiterated their calls to postpone the World Cup until next year due to the COVID-19 situation in the United Kingdom and around the world.
- “In the current environment, the risks to the safety, health and wellbeing of the players and officials travelling from Australia to participate in the tournament this year are insurmountable,” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said.
- “They would then be required to remain under protocols and away from home for the duration of the tournament before again quarantining on return to Australia.
- Neither Australia or New Zealand are anywhere near seeing the majority of their populations vaccinated.