Jeremiah Nanai & Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

This was originally posted on my general rugby league blog/thing on Substack (, feel free to check it out.

The 2021 men’s Rugby League World Cup kicks off in 10 days with 384 players about to descend on England for the tournament.

40 of them are under the age of 21 and I’m going to tell you about all of them.

Why under-21s? That’s the final year of age-based competitions for professional/semi-professional clubs in Australia.

Other countries have different age formats (eg. the under-18 English Academy competition and under-20 Ruben Wiki Cup in New Zealand) but under-21 is the system currently used in Australia, which I cover and where the majority of players compete, so I’ll be using that.

That number of 40 under-21s is up from the 2017 tournament, which featured 34. 2013 had 43 under that age, while 2008 had 33. The 2000 edition had 42 but keep in mind there are no ages available anywhere for a lot of players who took part. Same for 1995, which had 26.

Lebanon will take seven under-21s into the tournament, the most, followed by Samoa and Tonga with five. New Zealand has the lowest amount, with none named.

Tongan halfback Isaiya Katoa is the youngest player named, having turned 18 just this year, while Lebanon’s Jaxson Rahme will turn 19 in December.

Read more here –



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