Rugby League World Cup: Have England ever won the RLWC? Three Lions’ record at tournament

Rugby League World Cup: Have England ever won the RLWC? Three Lions’ record at tournament


The 2021 Rugby League World Cup is finally here after a year-long Covid-19 delay, with hosts England kicking off their campaign with a superb 60-6 victory over much-fancied Samoa at St James’ Park in Newcastle.

Shaun Wane’s side entered their first major tournament since the previous World Cup, in Australia in 2017, looking to add another moment of sporting pride to the national consciousness in 2022.

But as the Wall of White move to fight their way towards November’s final at Old Trafford, has any previous side gone the distance and lifted the Paul Barriere Trophy?

MORE: England 60-6 Samoa: Hosts deliver seismic rout in Rugby League World Cup opener

Have England ever won the Rugby League World Cup?

In a nutshell, no. As a single nation, England have never won the Rugby League World Cup. The nearest they have come is finishing as runners-up on three occasions – most recently in 2017, when they lost an agonisingly close final to co-hosts Australia by a 6-0 scoreline.

But England have laid their hands on the trophy three previous times under a different identity, with Great Britain the inaugural winners back in 1954, before subsequent triumphs in 1960 and 1972.

The Lions competed in all but one tournament until 1992, before splitting into their home nation components from 1995 – when England made the final once again.

England’s record at the RLWC

YearHostEngland or Great Britain?Final Position
1954FranceGreat Britain1st
1957AustraliaGreat Britain2nd
1960EnglandGreat Britain1st
1968Australia/New ZealandGreat Britain3rd
1970EnglandGreat Britain2nd
1972FranceGreat Britain1st
1977Australia/New ZealandGreat Britain2nd
1985-88N/A*Great Britain3rd
1989-92N/A*Great Britain2nd
2017Australia/New Zealand/Papua New GuineaEngland2nd

*Tournament was by participating nations.

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Jorge Oliveira