Prince Harry pits England against Samoa, Australia with Fiji in 2021 Rugby League World Cup draw

By Sports Desk January 16, 2020

England will face Samoa in the opening game of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, while Australia will take on Fiji.

Prince Harry attended the draw ceremony at Buckingham Palace on Thursday and picked out Samoa as England's first opponents at St James' Park in Newcastle on October 23, 2021.

France and debutants Greece were also placed in Group A.

The Duke of Sussex drew out Fiji, surprise semi-finalists in 2017, alongside defending champions Australia in Group B, with Scotland and Italy making up the rest of the pool.

New Zealand will be hoping to improve on their quarter-final exit three years ago and they should comfortably emerge from Group C alongside Lebanon, Ireland and Jamaica, the latter of which will be making their first appearance in the competition.

Tonga made the semi-finals in 2017 and will go up against Papua New Guinea, Wales and Cook Islands in Group D.

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    "Catalans Dragons are happy to confirm that supporters flags are welcome in all the stands at Gilbert Brutus Stadium," a statement read.

    "We noted the complaints of certain Castleford supporters but, having reviewed the CCTV footage and numerous photos in the media, we can confirm that supporters were able to display their flags and colours throughout.

    "However, it is important that flags and banners do not cover advertising boards. Stadium security staff are briefed to ensure that advertising boards are kept clear throughout the game.

    "The investigation found that one person was asked to remove a flag because it was covering an advertising board. 

    "The only banners and flags forbidden in our stadium and other sports stadia would be those which are insulting or inciting violence.

    "We can confirm that no such incidents were reported on Saturday during our match against Castleford."

    However, the RFL is not yet closing the case.

    A short statement read: "We thank Catalans Dragons for instigating their own investigation, but we will need time to consider all the available evidence before reaching any conclusions."

    Folau scored an early try on his first rugby league outing since 2010, helping Catalans defeat Castleford 36-18 in Perpignan on Saturday.

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    Super League is investigating a claim from a Castleford Tigers fan that they were asked to remove a rainbow flag during Israel Folau's debut for Catalans Dragons.

    Folau scored an early try on his first rugby league outing since 2010, helping the Dragons defeat Castleford 36-18 in Perpignan on Saturday.

    It was Folau's first appearance since he was sacked by Rugby Australia (RA) last May for posting homophobic comments on social media.

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    Catalans head coach Steve McNamara praised the player for handling the scrutiny surrounding him on debut.

    "Well I've just congratulated him on that [media scrutiny] downstairs because it is different," he said. 

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