In our predictions for the Rugby League World Cup in 2022, we take a look at the five teams who stand the best chance of winning the tournament and taking home the trophy.
There will be 16 different countries competing in this tournament, which has been postponed by a year due to issues with Covid. This will be the 16th time that it has been held.
On November 19, the final will be held at Old Trafford, and the following teams are the front-runners to win it:
AUSTRALIA @ 4/9
The Kangaroos have already been victorious 11 times, and they are seeking to make it a hat-trick of triumphs in this match. After coach Mal Meninga chose 13 players without a previous World Cup cap, including vice-captain Isaah Yeo, the team will be led by James Tedesco, who will be the most inexperienced captain in the history of the World Cup.
The only players still on the team that won the final against England 6-0 in Brisbane five years ago are Cameron Munster, Jake Trbojevic, Valentine Holmes, Ben Hunt, and Reagan Campbell-Gillard. The other members of that team have already retired. Penrith scrum-half Nathan Cleary, Souths star Latrell Mitchell, and Canterbury flier Josh Addo-Carr are players for the Australian national team that you should keep an eye on as they compete in the Rugby League World Cup.
However, Australia is still the odds-on favorite to win the tournament.
NEW ZEALAND @ 7/2
New Zealand stunned Australia in the championship game in 2008 and made it all the way to the final in England five years later, but they need to get back on track after their poor performance the last time around. James Fisher-Harris, Moses Leota, and Scott Sorensen are all members of the New Zealand squad. Dylan Brown, Isaiah Papali’i, and Marata Niukore are all members of the New Zealand squad.
Parramatta, who fell short in the Grand Final, provides Dylan Brown, Isaiah Papali’i, and Marata Niukore. Bromwich brothers Jesse and Kenny, along with Melbourne teammate Nelson Asofa-Solomona, will lend their considerable strength to an already formidable pack.
ENGLAND @ 9/1
Jonny Lomax and Mark Percival, who won the Grand Final for St. Helens, as well as teammate Alex Walmsley and Wigan forward Liam Farrell, are unable to play due to injuries. However, Shaun Wane has recruited several intriguing new players for the NRL, including England internationals Tom Burgess (South Sydney), Luke Thompson (Canterbury), and Elliott Whitehead (Canberra), as well as Victor Radley (Sydney Roosters) and Dom Young (Canberra) (Newcastle).
The 1954, 1960, and 1972 winners came agonizingly close to breaking their title drought the previous time, and they will hope that having the game at home gives them an opportunity to go one better today.
SAMOA @ 10/1
tense situation in Penrith The Pacific Islanders had no fewer than eight players appear in the NRL Grand Final between the Panthers and the Parramatta. Players such as Jarome Luai and winger Brian To’o are among those who have turned their backs on Australia and pledged their support to the Pacific Islanders.
The Super League will be represented by Huddersfield hooker Danny Levi and Catalans Dragons utility back Tyrone May, and Matt Parish’s coaching staff will include Castleford head coach Lee Radford and Leeds head coach Richard Agar. Samoa is favored by odds of 4/6 to beat England in their opening match of the group stage to be played at St. James’ Park.
Samoa will also be ranked as a value bet to go all the way in many people’s predictions for the Rugby League World Cup.
TONGA @ 12/1
Tonga had a spectacular performance in the tournament five years ago. During the group stage, they were victorious over New Zealand and Samoa, and their loss to England in the semifinals was only by two points. The talismanic lock forward Jason Taumalolo will try to motivate his team to another courageous performance.
Gold Coast second rower David Fifita and Sydney Roosters winger Daniel Tupou will also be standouts for their respective teams. William Hopoate and Konrad Hurrell, who both play for St. Helens, are members of Kristian Woolf’s side. Ben Murdoch-Masila, a forward who previously played for Salford and Warrington, and Huddersfield’s Tui Lolohea are both candidates for the role.
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