Embed from Getty Images. Founded in Leigh were one of the original 22 clubs who formed the original Northern Football Union in The club was simply known as Leigh up until the season when it adopted the name of the Centurions. Born in , Alex James Murphy made appearances for Leigh between , with his greatest moment being when he played at scrum half In front of 85, fans as a player-coach. Helens and finally Huddersfield. Murphy would also represent his country, being capped for Great Britain 26 times and England twice.
In addition, he also represented Lancashire at county level 14 times, scoring 12 tries. Leigh had what could only be described as a torrid start to their championship campaign, as they lost five of their first six games and also have to cope with the departure of head coach Neil Jukes. With the appointment of Kieron Purtill, they produced a gutsy victory over Batley at Mount Pleasant and would then go on a tear winning their next 10 games in a row, beating some of their fellow top six challengers.
The World Cup returned in with a team format. Australia hosted the tournament and New Zealand were crowned champions for the first time by beating the host nation at Lang Park , Brisbane.
New Zealand became only the third team to win the world cup and the first other than Australia since The tournament , hosted by England and Wales, expanded to 14 teams and was considered the most successful competition to date in terms of attendances, exposure and financial output.
Australia took the title again after defeating New Zealand in the final by a score of 34—2. The final attendance became the record international rugby league attendance at 74, Following the tournament, it was decided that the world cup would be scheduled to take place every four years, Rugby League World Cup taking place in Australia, New Zealand and for the first time in Papua New Guinea. While Australia would claim the title once again and for an eleventh time, the tournament was considered highly successful in terms of competitiveness.
The tournament would see Tonga beat New Zealand in the group stages with a score of to top the group, the first time a team from outside the top 3 had beaten a top 3 nation in over two decades. New Zealand went on to play Fiji in the quarter-finals and lost once again with a score of just , knocking New Zealand out in the quarter-finals, the first time a tier 1 nation had exited the tournament at this early stage.
Tonga played England in the semi-finals and while conceding 20 unanswered points, they would score 3 tries in just the last seven minutes to pull the score back to , eventually losing by this close margin. The final was contested between Australia and England at Lang Park , Brisbane and Australia won by just , the lowest score in world cup final history. The tournament will be held in England with organisers expressing a desire to see a total of one million fans attend games.
This tournament will see the number of teams increased to 16 once again. After its recovery, the trophy was reinstated for the tournament. England has also been at all, but participated under the banner of Great Britain in the majority of the earlier tournaments. Wales, including as Great Britain, has competed in all but the tournament. In total, 19 teams have taken part in the world cup.
Only one other team has taken part in just a single world cup; Russia. Qualifying rounds were first introduced for the world cup. Teams that automatically qualify are the quarter-finalists from the previous world cup. Qualifying for the world cup will feature 20 teams, the most to date with 8 teams having automatically qualified.
The Rugby League World Cup has followed a varied range of formats throughout its history as the number of teams participating has increased. The current format has been in use since featuring 14 teams split into two groups of four and two groups of three. Three teams from the groups of four qualify for the knockout stage and one team from the groups of three qualify.
Each team is awarded two points for a win and one point for a draw. The eight teams in the quarter finals play each other with the four winners progressing to the semi finals before the World Cup Final. If the teams are level after 80 minutes extra time will be played and if the two teams are still level after extra time, a golden point will be played.
In the final tournament followed the same format as that of but this will change for when the number of teams taking part is increased to Seven teams have officially hosted and co-hosted the World Cup. Scotland hosted games in the world cup but these games were considered to have been hosted by Great Britain rather than the specific home nations.
Although games were played in Papua New Guinea during the and World Cups, they are due to officially become the eighth nation to host games in alongside Australia and New Zealand. In total, 81 stadiums have hosted world cup games over the 14 tournaments. Headingley Stadium in Leeds has hosted the tournament the most times, having had games in 7 world cups with Central Park , Wigan and Lang Park , Brisbane having hosted 6 tournaments.
The most stadiums used in a tournament was in when 26 stadiums were used; the stadium capacity was the highest ever at , However, the occupancy was also the lowest ever at just The largest stadium in terms of capacity ever used was Wembley Stadium , London with a seating capacity of 90,; the stadium was used in the tournament as the venue for the semi-final double-header.
The smallest stadium ever used was also in when The Gnoll , Neath , with a capacity of 5, hosted a game between Wales and Cook Islands.
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