Rugby League World Cup Today: Badger Makes History As Tonga Face Wales

Kasey Badger is the first female ref in RLWC history
07:00, 24 Oct 2022

History will be made in St Helens on Monday night when Kasey Badger becomes the first woman to referee a men's Rugby League World Cup fixture. She takes charge of Tonga's crucial clash with Wales in Group D as the Mate Ma'a look to ease their path into the quarter-finals before their final first-phase match against the Cook Islands.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of Monday’s action…

Tonga v Wales - Group D

Where: Totally Wicked Stadium, St Helens.

When: 7:30pm (BST)

TV: BBC Two and BBC iPlayer

Referee: Kasey Badger (Australia)

Last meeting: N/A - First meeting

Tonga’s RLWC so far: Beat Papua New Guinea 24-18

Wales’ RLWC so far: Lost to Cook Islands 12-18

Kristian Woolf will be hoping his Tonga side can raise their level after a late, late win over Papua New Guinea in their opening fixture. The 2017 semi-finalists were highly fancied coming into the tournament, and they remain one of the favourites, but their first hit-out did not show them in their best light. Woolf has revealed that full-back Will Hopoate will not be playing a part at Langtree Park, telling reporters: “He won’t play this week but he has a real chance against Cook Islands. I know what class he’s got and at St Helens this year you’ve got to remember that we never lost a game when he played, so I think that speaks volumes of his class and his influence on a team.

“If he is ready to play against Cook Islands, he will play. If not it will be the quarter-finals.”

Cook Islands coach Tony Iro will be eager for his troops to back up their comeback win against Wales with a positive performance against the group leaders. With Papua New Guinea still to come in a potential decider for qualification for the last eight, points difference could play a deciding factor in Group D.

Sportsman stat: Wales have lost their last eight World Cup fixtures, to Australia (2000 semi-final), Italy, USA and Cook Islands (2013 groups), Papua New Guinea, Fiji, and Ireland (2017 groups), and Cook Islands again last week.

Betfred odds: Tonga TBC, Wales TBC, draw TBC


*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds Subject to Change

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