BY ROMULUS HUTA
THE draws of the 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship (ENWC) were released Monday this week.
The ENWC is a world rugby league tournament held for Tier Two and Tier Three Nations and this year will mark its third edition which will take place across three Sydney venues in Australia starting on October 1.
Solomon Islands is classed as a Tier Three Nation by the International Rugby League Federation and therefore will only play against Hong Kong and Turkey in the Pool matches scheduled for October 1 and October 7, respectively.
With a total of 11 nations taking part, teams were drawn from Europe, Asia and the Pacific, split in three pools.
The countries have been placed into two pools of three teams and one of five, based on their current world ranking.
Solomon Islands was drawn into Pool C along with Hong Kong, Turkey, Poland and Japan.
The top two nations from Pools A and B will contest the World Championship, whilst those in Pool C will compete alongside the ones eliminated from the Championship for the Trophy and Bowl competitions, thereby giving every side four games.
Head of the ENWC organising committee, Tas Baitieri, commented: “We have specifically grouped the nations according to their experience so that all players can enjoy great competition at the correct level and with proper regard for their welfare. I would like to thank the Rugby League International Federation for their support of this great festival of Rugby League.”
“Seeing this array of nations from across much of the globe competing in a rugby league championship shows the vibrancy of the international game,” said RLIF CEO Nigel Wood.
“One of the RLIF’s strategic aims is to continue to grow the sport as the demand for it increases, and as these nations continue to develop so will their domestic leagues. I have no doubt many will eventually take their place in qualifications for future Rugby League World Cups.”