New Zealand Sports and Entertainment Minister Jacinda Ardern says it’s a great day for sport, and says she’s confident the country will be back in the top ten next year.
Ardern announced on Friday that the New Zealand Association of Sports Federations (NZASF) and the National Rugby League (NRL) had signed a memorandum of understanding to bring more than 50 teams to the country by 2021.
She said the NZASF and NRL were in a “good position” to bring teams to New Zealand next year, and said that the NZ Sports Commission had signed off on a memorandum with the National Sports Council.
Ardson said the agreement would help ensure New Zealanders could enjoy the sport of rugby league and rugby union.
She added that New Zealand is “on track to have 100% participation in the next four years”.
The NZASFs and NRL have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NZAS for the 2018/19 Rugby League World Cup.
The agreement has been signed by NZAS chairman David Tuck and NRL chairman Dave Smith.
The NZRA will also sign a memorandum to support NZAS Fencing and the NZRLs rugby league program in 2020.
Ardsen said the two organizations were working closely together to create an exciting future for rugby league in New Zealand.
She also said that NZAS was in a good position to continue with its efforts to grow the sport.
In 2018, the country had around 80 teams competing in the Rugby League Super Series, with two other franchises, the Chiefs and the Roosters, participating.
Last year, the league had a record of 31 victories.
But this year, there will be just 14 teams participating, and New Zealand has only five teams competing at the 2019 World Cup, with only three of those participating.
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) and Rugby League NZ (RLNZ) have said that a number of teams will be left off the 2019 Rugby League season in 2019, in order to reduce the number of players available.
In the meantime, the NZ Rugby Union is working towards the introduction of an open season, and the Rugby NRL will work towards the creation of a new Rugby League All Stars team in 2020, the team will be made up of the best New Zealand athletes.
Rugby league was not included in the New Year’s Day celebrations, and is not set to take place until 2021.
New Zealand has also announced that the country has signed a deal to play the 2019 Auckland Cup against the Netherlands, as well as to host the 2019 All Blacks and 2019 World Cups.