2017 Rugby League World Cup Final – Australia v England

Australia v England

Saturday December 3, 8:00pm AEDT – Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Selection Notes

Mal Meninga has stuck fat with the same side that won both the quarter final against Samoa and the semi against Fiji with Michael Morgan keeping the No.6 jersey and Josh McGuire holding the lock position. He will again go in with four forwards on the bench.

Wayne Bennett has been forced to make one change to the England team with Josh Hodgson out with an ACL injury. Veteran of 34 Tests James Roby comes into the starting team with Chris Heighington earning a call-up on the bench.


No England or Great Britain team has defeated Australia since 2006. Over that period, Australia has won 10 straight against England with six of those wins by 16 or more. The teams met earlier in the tournament with Australia producing a solid 14-point victory but the margin was within a converted try with 10 minutes to play. The teams have met four times in Australia over the last decade with Australia winning twice by 20-plus. Australia has scored 26 points in eight of the last 10 Tests against England. Ryan Hall has scored in five of his last six Tests against Australia. Josh Dugan and Matt Gillett have both scored for Australia in the last two Tests against England. Australia and England/Great Britain have met in six World Cup finals with Australia winning five and one drawn. Only one winning margin has been more by than eight points. The last World Cup final the teams met in was in 1995 when Australia won 16-8 at Wembley.

World Cup History

Australia has won 10 of the 14 World Cups, including seven of the last eight. Australia are 25-2 over the last four World Cups and have advanced to every final since the inaugural competition in 1954. Australia conceded just four points in their final five games of the 2013 World Cup and have conceded just 12 points in their five World Cup games in 2017. Australia have won by 24 or more in 13 of their last 16 World Cup games.

England were eliminated at the semi-final stage of both the last three World Cups and are playing in their first final since 1995. England have not beaten a Tier 1 nation at a World Cup since 1995, losing nine straight, though they have not lost to a nation other than Australia or New Zealand. This campaign they finished second in their group before a comprehensive win over Papua New Guinea and then a desperate 20-18 victory over Tonga in the semi-final.

Venue History

Suncorp Stadium is the most used venue in World Cup history, having hosted 14 matches. Most famously, Australia lost the 2008 final to New Zealand in a major shock at the ground. It is Australia’s only World Cup loss at the ground with 10 straight victories prior. While Australia are 35-8 all-time at the ground, it has turned into an unhappy venue for them of late with four losses in their last six games at the ground, including the 2010 Four Nations final and the 2015 Anzac Test. England last played at Suncorp in 2014, defeating Samoa 32-26. England/Great Britain have played Australia four times at Suncorp since 1988 with only one match finishing within 12 points.

Recent Form

Australia entered the tournament a raging hot favourite and have not disappointed, conceding an incredible 16 points in five games and winning their two finals by a combined 100-6 with Valentine Holmes crossing for bags of five and six in a record-breaking run for the young winger. Overall Australia have scored 206 points across their five matches.

England performed well in the Cup opener against Australia and the won comfortably against Lebanon and France without covering the big start. Their best effort was in the quarter against Papua New Guinea while they led 20-0 after 70 minutes against Tonga before collapsing and grimly hanging on to win 20-18.

Betting Strategy

BACK – England +18.5