Rugby League World Cup 2022: When is it, fixtures, latest odds and who is in the home nations squads

Tomkins (L) - Rugby League World Cup 2022: When is it, fixtures, latest odds and who is in the England squad - PA
Tomkins (L) - Rugby League World Cup 2022: When is it, fixtures, latest odds and who is in the England squad - PA

Martin Offiah is tipping England to go all the way in the Rugby League World Cup and help right the wrongs of 1995.

The record-breaking former Wigan winger, one of rugby league's all-time greats, was in the England team that lost 16-8 in the final to Australia at Wembley 27 years ago but remains adamant Phil Larder's team were robbed.

England were trailing 8-4 when Offiah made a 60-metre break before throwing the ball back inside for his centre Paul Newlove to kick ahead and dive over for a try.

It was controversially disallowed after Offiah was ruled to have been taken into touch by a desperate Tim Brasher tackle but television replays suggested otherwise and the man himself has no doubt it was a try.

"If there was a video referee back then, we would have scored early in the game and who knows what could have happened," Offiah said. "To this day I know I wasn't in touch but what could have, would have, should have been is all in the past now."

Australia are favourites to retain their crown and Pacific nations Tonga and Samoa, England's opening-group opponents, have star-studded line-ups but Offiah believes home advantage could be key.

"I've seen the Samoa squad and I've seen the Tonga squad," he said, "Obviously they are littered with players from the NRL, the premier competition, but there is nothing like playing in a World Cup on home soil.

"Australia always hold that mantle of favourites and we've all seen the strength of State of Origin but England will have the whole country backing them."

When does it start?

The Rugby League World Cup starts on Saturday, October 15 when the hosts, England, take on Samoa.

Which countries are involved?

  • Group A: England, France, Greece, Sampa

  • Group B: Australia, Fiji, Italy, Scotland

  • Group C: Ireland, Jamaica, Lebanon, New Zealand

  • Group D: Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Wales, Tonga

Latest England news

Huddersfield's veteran prop Chris Hill has earned an England recall for the Rugby League World Cup, alongside uncapped NRL-based trio Dom Young, Victor Radley and Herbie Farnworth.

The 34-year-old former Warrington front rower is a shock inclusion in coach Shaun Wane's 24-man squad for the tournament which kicks off against Samoa at Newcastle on October 15.

Hill is the chief beneficiary of the absence of St Helens prop Alex Walmsley, while Salford scrum-half Marc Sneyd is chosen to plug the gap created by the loss of Jonny Lomax with a bicep injury.

Hill, who enjoyed a new lease of life following his move to Huddersfield, is one of six survivors from the team that reached the 2017 World Cup final in Brisbane.

The others are Tom Burgess, one of six NRL-based players, Elliott Whitehead, Kallum Watkins, John Bateman and Ryan Hall, who will have the chance to add to his record tally of 35 England tries.

Despite the absence of Walmsley and Lomax, champions St Helens still provide five members of the squad.

Sam Tomkins will lead a side that contains six new faces in NRL trio Farnworth, Radley and Young, Salford pair Sneyd and Andy Ackers and Wigan centre or second rower Kai Pearce-Paul.

Farnworth, 22, was born in Lancashire and played amateur rugby league for Wigan St Patrick's before moving to Australia while Radley, 24, qualifies through his Sheffield-born father.

Young, 21, who made a handful of appearances for Huddersfield before joining Newcastle Knights two years ago, opted to play for England rather than Jamaica.

Wane said: "After so many conversations with the players over the last two years, it's exciting for all of us to be getting ready to go into camp for a home World Cup.

"The mood of the players and staff is fantastic. The opening match against Samoa in Newcastle is going to be a massive occasion and I know English Rugby League fans and the sporting public will get behind us."

Home nations World Cup squads

England World Cup squad

S Tomkins (Catalans), A Ackers (Salford), J Batchelor, (St Helens), J Bateman (Wigan), T Burgess (South Sydney), M Cooper (WIgan), H Farnworth (Brisbane), R Hall (Hull KR), C Hill (Huddersfield), M Knowles (St Helens), M Lees (St Helens), T Makinson (St Helens), M McIlorum (Catalans), M McMeeken (Catalans), M Oledzki (Leeds), K Pearce-Paul (Wigan), V Radley (Sydney Roosters), M Sneyd (Salford), L Thompson (Canterbury Bulldogs), K Watkins (Salford), J Welsby (St Helens), E Whitehead (Canberra), G Williams (Warrington), D Young (Newcastle).

Ireland World Cup squad

J Bentley (Leeds Rhinos), K Brand (Leigh Centurions), L Byrne (Wigan Warriors), E Chamberlain (Leigh Centurions), J Cook (Canterbury Bulldogs), F Halton (Hull KR), J Hasson (South Sydney Rabbitohs), J Jolliffe (Gold Coast Titans), L Keary (Sydney Roosters), J Keyes (Halifax Panthers), T King (Warrington Wolves), G King (Hull KR), Ben Mathiou (Featherstone Rovers), J McDonnell (Wigan Warriors), R Michael (York City Knights), R Mulhern (Warrington Wolves), R Myler (Leeds Rhinos), D Norman (St Helens), H O’Kane (Wests Tigers), H Rushton (Canberra Raiders), I Senior (Huddersfield Giants), L Senior (Hull KR), M Ward (Batley Bulldogs).

Wales World Cup squad

C Aekins (Leigh Centurions), B Antrobus (York City Knights), G Bennion (Rochdale Hornets), J Burke (West Wales Raiders), C Butler (Bradford Bulls), M Butt (Swinton Lions), C Davies (Workington Town), C Davies (Whitehaven), B Evans (Bradford Bulls), K Evans (Wakefield Trinity), R Evans (Bradford Bulls), W Evans (Whitehaven), D Fleming (Featherstone Rovers), M Fozard (Widnes Vikings), D Grant (London Broncos), T Hopkins (Barrow Raiders), E Kear (Bradford Bulls), R Lloyd (Swinton Lions), J Olds (Valley Diehards), O Olds (Valley Diehards), J Ralph (Mounties), L Roberts (Leigh Centurions), A Walker (Bradford Bulls), R Williams (Salford Red Devils)

Scotland World Cup squad

E Aiken (New Zealand Warriors), L Bain (Parramatta Eels), L Bayliss-Brow (Brisbane Broncos), J Bell (St Helens), R Brierley (Salford Red Devils), K Buchanan (Batley Bulldogs), L Clarke (Edinburgh Eagles), D Dixon (Dewsbury Rams), C Emslie (Barrow Raiders), D Ferguson (Dewsbury Rams), C Gahan (London Broncos), G Graham (Whitehaven RLFC), B Hayward (Canterbury Bulldogs), B Hellewell (Featherstone Rovers), L Hood (Wakefield Trinity), K Linnett (Hull KR), Ba Liu (Sheffield Eagles), S Luckley (Salford Red Devils), M Russell (Toulouse), K Schneider (Mackay Cutters), J Teanby (York City Knights), S Toal (Barrow Raiders), L Walmsley (Halifax Panthers), A Walker (London Broncos).

Full fixtures

Saturday 15th October 2022

  • England v Samoa, Group A, St James’ Park (Newcastle), 2.30pm

  • Australia v Fiji, Group B, Headingley (Leeds), 7.30pm

Sunday 16th October

  • Scotland v Italy, Group B, Kingston Park (Newcastle), 2.30pm

  • Jamaica v Ireland, Group C, Headingley (Leeds), 5pm

  • New Zealand v Lebanon, Group C, Halliwell Jones Stadium (Warrington), 7.30pm

Monday 17th October

  • France v Greece, Group A, Keepmoat Stadium (Doncaster), 7.30pm

Tuesday 18th October

  • Tonga v Papua New Guinea, Group D, Totally Wicked Stadium (St Helens), 7.30pm

Wednesday 19th October

  • Wales v Cook Islands, Group D, Leigh Sports Village (Leigh), 7.30pm

Friday 21st October

  • Australia v Scotland, Group B, Ricoh Arena (Coventry), 7.30pm

Saturday 22nd October

  • Fiji v Italy, Group B, Kingston Park (Newcastle), 2.30pm

  • England v France, University of Bolton Stadium (Bolton), 5pm

  • New Zealand v Jamaica, Group C, MKM Stadium (Hull), 7.30pm

Sunday 23rd October

  • Lebanon v Ireland, Group C, Leigh Sports Village (Leigh), 2.30pm

  • Samoa v Greece, Group A, Keepmoat Stadium (Doncaster), 5pm

Monday 24th October

  • Tonga v Wales, Group D, Totally Wicked Stadium (St Helens), 7.30pm

Tuesday 25th October

  • Papua New Guinea v Cook Islands, Group D, Halliwell Jones Stadium (Warrington), 7.30pm

Friday 28th October

  • New Zealand v Ireland, Group C, Headingley (Leeds), 7.30pm

Saturday 29th October

  • England v Greece, Group A, Bramall Lane (Sheffield), 2.30pm

  • Fiji v Scotland, Group B, Kingston Park (Newcastle), 5pm

  • Australia v Italy, Group B, Totally Wicked Stadium (St Helens), 7.30pm

Sunday 30th October

  • Lebanon v Jamaica, Group C, Leigh Sports Village (Leigh), 12pm

  • Tonga v Cook Islands, Group D, Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough), 2.30pm

  • Samoa v France, Group A, Halliwell Jones Stadium (Warrington), 5pm

Monday 31st October

  • Papua New Guinea v Wales, Group D, Keepmoat Stadium (Doncaster), 7.30pm

Friday 4th November

  • Quarter Final 1 – Winner B v Runner-up C, John Smith’s Stadium (Huddersfield), 7.30pm

Saturday 5th November

  • Quarter Final 2 – Winner A v Runner-up D, DW Stadium (Wigan), 2.30pm

  • Quarter Final 3 – Winner C v Runner-up B, MKM Stadium (Hull), 7.30pm

Sunday 6th November

  • Quarter Final 4 – Winner D v Runner-up A, University of Bolton Stadium (Bolton), 2.30pm

Friday 11th November

  • Semi Final 1 – Winner QF v Winner QF, Elland Road (Leeds), 7.45pm

Saturday 12th November

  • Semi Final 2 – Winner QF v Winner QF, Emirates Stadium (London), 2.30pm

Saturday 19th November

  • World Cup 2021 Final, Old Trafford (Manchester), 4pm

Latest odds

England are 9/1 to lift the trophy.

  • Australia 1/2

  • New Zealand 7/2

  • England 10/1

  • Tonga 11/1

  • Samoa 11/1

  • Fiji 50/1

  • Papua New Guinea 250/1

  • Ireland 500/1

  • France 500/1

  • Cook Islands 500/1

  • Lebanon 750/1

  • Scotland 750/1

  • Italy 750/1

  • Wales 750/1

  • Jamaica 2000/1

  • Greece 2000/1

Information, courtesy of Sky Bet, correct as of October 4