Fri. Jul 30th, 2021

Australia and New Zealand pulling out of the World Cup under the smokescreen of Covid concerns betrays the self-interest of southern hemisphere powerbrokers

It has been the overused catch-cry of the Rugby League Twitterati of late that the game is dead or, at the very least, breathing its last. It is typically nothing more than a look-at-me moan that shows little understanding of the sport’s history in either Australia or the UK.

There is one element of the game, though, that is very much at a crossroads following Australia and New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Rugby League World Cup later this year, for this is the culmination of a long-held disinterest-bordering-on-contempt Australian rugby league has held for the international game. What could have been a watershed week for international rugby league with the announcement that the 2032 Olympics would be held in the league heartland of Brisbane has turned into another unnecessary self-inflicted drama.

Related: Australia and New Zealand labelled ‘selfish’ after pulling out of Rugby League World Cup

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