Rugby League World Cup 2021 draw: Who faces who? Who are the ones to watch? Which are the most exciting matches?

England will play Papua New Guinea in the Rugby League World Cup (PA Images)
England will play Papua New Guinea in the Rugby League World Cup (PA Images)
14:45pm, Thu 16 Jan 2020
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The draw for the Women's Rugby League World Cup has taken place at Buckingham Palace, hosted by Prince Harry.

The Duke of Sussex made his first royal engagement since announcing he's stepping down as a senior royal. He was joined by Dame Katherine Grainger and Jason Robinson to announce the teams facing each other in the group stage of the men's, women's and wheelchair competitions.

Here's everything you need to know about the women's 2021 tournament:

Group A

England will host the tournament next year (PA Images)

England were already put in Group A prior to today's draw as they are the hosts of the competition.

The teams drawn alongside them were: Papua New Guinea, Canada and Brazil. This is the first time a South American women's side has competed at the tournament.

It was announced after the draw that the first game to take place in the World Cup will be England vs Brazil.

The match to look out for in this group though is England v Papua New Guinea. The host nation made a tour of PNG last November where the Polynesian side shocked England with a victory.

It was the first time ever that PNG had beaten England in a rugby league test and they did so in fantastic fashion with a sublime last-minute try. The women in white will be keen to avoid an upset in the group stage which sets up a tantalising match.

Group B

Australia are the defending World Cup champions (PA Images)

Defending champions Australia were already in Group B as they won the tournament when they hosted it in 2017.

The teams drawn alongside them were: New Zealand, France and The Cook Islands. Arguably the more difficult group, the Aussies will have a job on their hands defending their title - particularly against the Black Ferns.

The match between the neighbouring nations will be mouth-watering. New Zealand made the final in 2017 but were beaten by their rivals 23-16.

Though many may count The Cook Islands out of this group, the small nation will want to cause upset. The best chance they will have to do so will be against France.

In the men's tournament, England were pulled out with Samoa, France and Greece. The most exciting match throughout all four groups in the men's draw will either be Australia v Fiji in Group B or Tonga v Papua New Guinea in Group C.

Finally, the wheelchair tournament draw is as follows:

All three competitions will run alongside each other, the men's and women's finals being held at Old Trafford on November 27 2021.

The wheelchair final is the day before at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.

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