NEW dates have been confirmed for next year's rearranged Rugby League World Cup.

The withdrawal of Australia and New Zealand due to Covid-19 concerns and the complications that arose from it forced the tournament – scheduled to take place this autumn – to be pushed back to next year.

It will now kick off on Saturday, October 15, 2022 – one week earlier than it would have started this year – with the final at Old Trafford on Saturday, November 19.

The opening match will still be held at Newcastle's St James' Park, with organisers aiming to release a full revised match schedule before the end of this year.

The tournament falls between the 2022 Commonwealth Games and the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which means all 61 matches will still be broadcast on the BBC.

“I am delighted that we have been able to announce the revised dates today and can now look forward to the biggest and best Rugby League World Cup ever in the autumn of 2022,” RLWC2021 chief executive Jon Dutton said.

“The continuing conversations with all our supportive hosts and venues have been hugely positive.

"We are confident that we can deliver a similar tournament schedule, which will be communicated as soon as possible.”

“Obviously, we are disappointed the tournament will not be happening as originally planned but we are determined to make next year a celebration of sport, unity, people, place and civic pride.”

Troy Grant, IRL Chairman, added, “The Rugby League World Cup is the international pinnacle of our sport, and I am delighted that the new dates have been agreed meaning we can now push forward towards autumn 2022.

“Jon Dutton and the entire RLWC2021 team have worked tirelessly following the postponement being announced and I have total confidence that the 2022 incarnation of the tournament will be the best we have ever seen both on and off the field of play.”

Supporters who have bought tickets and wish to retain them will see their tickets automatically transferred to the rearranged fixtures.

However, the first general admission ticket refund window is now open for three weeks should any supporters wish to claim their money back – visit for more refund information.