The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has approved expressions of interest from South Africa and a joint bid from Australia and New Zealand to host the 2017 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC).
Both were approved and formal bids are now expected from the countries. Following submission, bids will be assessed by a specially-convened RLIF board sub-committee that will make a recommendation on a host nation to the RLIF Board. The sub-committee will be chaired by Nigel Wood, RLIF deputy chairman and the 2013 RLWC tournament director.
Bids are due to be submitted in November when bidders will also be asked to present the content of their bids to the sub-committee. A decision is expected to be announced in January 2014.
Wood said: “It is fantastic to see three nations all with an active interest in hosting the next tournament as that clearly demonstrates a growing, global interest in rugby league. The RLIF has established a thorough assessment process for the bids, to ensure that the tournament is awarded to the best host.