England have been drawn in the same group as Wales, France and Lebanon for the inaugural Downer World Cup Nines in Sydney on October 18 and 19.

The draw was made at the tournament launch at Parramatta Town Hall, where a raft of new rules were revealed including the introduction of a five-point try.

England and Wales have been drawn in Group B, with Group A comprising Australia, New Zealand, PNG and USA. Pacific nations Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Cook Islands were placed in Group C.

Downer World Cup Nines rule variations

  • A bonus zone, giving teams the chance for a five-point try
  • A 20-40 rule, in addition to the 40-20
  • A 25-second shot clock on drop-kicked conversions
  • Golden try in the event of a match drawn after regulation time

    The two highest-placed teams from Group A will go through to the semi-finals, alongside the winners of Groups B and C.

    NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said the pools were chosen to ensure exciting match-ups between traditional rivals.

    Wayne Bennett will coach England at the Downer World Cup Nines Wayne Bennett will coach England at the Downer World Cup Nines Wayne Bennett will coach England at the Downer World Cup Nines

    “The World Cup Nines will feature the most exciting players to watch in the game, representing their nations and their cultures,” Greenberg said.

    “It will be a festival of rugby league and the fast-paced, frenetic nature of Nines will be fantastic to watch.