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Australia, NZ pull out of league World Cup

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Australia and New Zealand have withdrawn from the Rugby League World Cup due to be held at the end of the year in England, citing player welfare and safety concerns.

In a joint statement on Thursday afternoon, the Australian Rugby League Commission and NZRL urged the tournament to be postponed until 2022 to avoid the risk of a player catching COVID-19.

It comes just a week after tournament officials confirmed the event would go ahead with or without defending champions Australia.

© AAP 2021

Image Credit: paddynapper, CC BY-SA 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons (image for illustration purposes only)