Rugby League World Cup Games May Be Played In Pacific

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Australia, New Zealand named hosts: PNG, Fiji or Samoa could see matches

MELBOURNE, Australia (Radio Australia, Feb 20, 2014) – There has been confusion over suggestions that Papua New Guinea would host two matches of the Rugby League World Cup, with another games possibly being played in Fiji or Samoa

Australia and New Zealand have just been named joint host nations for the 2017 tournament.

According to the CEO of New Zealand Rugby League, Phil Holden, part of the joint bid included games being held in Papua New Guinea.

"That was one of the things we put forward with our presentation in November," he told Radio Australia.

"So definitely Papua New Guinea will be hosting a couple of games."

"And then one of the things that we floated was the prospect of playing a game in Fiji or Samoa for example

"The logistics of that still need to be worked through but it was something that was on our radar screens and part of the proposal."

A spokesman from Australia's National Rugby League told Radio Australia no decisions have been made on where games will be played.

He said a tender process for towns wanting to host games would take place in the future.

Despite the confusion, Phil Holden says hosting the World Cup in the region will be a massive boost to the sport.

"We're absolutely stoked, it has been a lot of hard work over the last six months, to have that bid confirmed late last night was just amazing," he said.

"Certainly for us in New Zealand and in the broader Pacific Rim, it is a tremendous honour and achievement to hold a pinnacle event such as this.

The joint trans-Tasman bid beat out an attempt by South Africa to host the tournament in 2017.

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