2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying
2008 Rugby League World Cup qualifying matches took place from April 2006 to November 2007. Of the ten teams to compete in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, five of them qualified based on their performance in these matches. The other five teams had qualified automatically.
6 teams qualified for the World Cup. 3 qualified automatically, with the top 2 in the Pacific qualifying group also reaching the finals. Samoa finished third in the Pacific qualifying group and earned a qualification spot by winning the repechage.
- Australia (automatic qualifier and host)
- New Zealand (automatic qualifier)
- Papua New Guinea (automatic qualifier)
- Tonga (Pacific qualifying group winners)
- Fiji (Pacific qualifying group runners up)
- Samoa (Repechage winners)
4 teams qualified for the World Cup. 2 qualified automatically, with a further 2 finals berths for the winner of each European qualifying group.
- England (automatic qualifier)
- France (automatic qualifier)
- Ireland (Europe group 2 winners)
- Scotland (Europe group 1 winners)
No teams from the Atlantic qualifying group reached the finals, with the USA losing at the repechage semi-final stage.
Europe (Round 1)
Europe (Round 2)
29 October 2006
Brewery Field, Bridgend
4 November 2007
Goals: Brough (4/4)
Goals: Harris (3/4)
Old Anniesland, Glasgow
Scotland won 37–32 on aggregate
22 October 2006
|Tries: Dodd (3)
Goals: Bridge (7/9)
Fili Stadium, Moscow
5 November 2006
Goals: Bridge (3/3)
Tolka Park, Dublin
20 October 2007
|Tries: Blanch (3)
Oak Park, Carlow
2 November 2007
Goals: Nicholas (2)
Crown Flatt, Dewsbury
- Despite finishing on equal number of points, Ireland secured their World Cup spot as a result of a higher points differential.
- Lebanon faced Wales in the Repechage round.
Originally the USA, Japan, South Africa and West Indies were going to compete in a fourway tournament at Bernie Robbins Stadium, Atlantic City from 21–28 October. However the West Indies and South Africa withdrew and so a one-off match was played between Japan and the USA.
- The United States entered the repechage round, to play Samoa (3rd placed Pacific team).
9 November 2007
|Tries: Gibson (3)
|Tries: Salem (3)
Goals: Nicolas (7/9)
Halton Stadium, Widnes
- Therefore, Samoa qualified for the final position at the World Cup to be held in Australia in 2008.
- The match was originally abandoned after the Georgian team had their visa applications rejected. A subsequent investigation discovered that Georgia's players were actually representing the rugby union team at the time; Georgia were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, ejected from the competition and banned from RLIF events for two years. Russia were awarded the match 24–0.
- Proszenko, Adrian (6 March 2011). "Police identify final punter". The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia: Fairfax Media). Retrieved 6 March 2011.
- "World Cup European Preliminary Qualifying Tournament – Euro B", Rugby League European Federation website, retrieved 8 May 2006
- "Rugby League World Cup 2008 – European Qualifying Group", Rugby League European Federation website, retrieved 15 May 2006
- "Impressive Georgia Outrun Dutch in 2nd Half", Rugby League European Federation website, retrieved 28 May 2006
- "World Cup 2008 – European Qualifying Ground", Rugby League European Federation website, retrieved 20 June 2006
- "The Road to World Cup 2008", Scotland Rugby League website, retrieved 16 July 2006.