Scotland's surprising performance at last year's Rugby League World Cup has almost certainly guaranteed them automatic qualification for the next tournament in Australia in 2017, according to the new man in charge of the international sport's governing body.

Nigel Wood, already one of the most influential figures in the game as chief executive of the Rugby Football League and Super League, was appointed chairman of the Rugby League International Federation earlier this month and describes the development of the game at Test level as a mission.

He believes Scotland did the sport a huge favour at last year's World Cup by showing that it is possible for emerging national teams to be competitive on the global stage and indicated that they would be well rewarded. He told Herald Sport: "It's also helped Scotland out because we haven't quite ratified our participation but it will mean that Scotland's participation in the 2017 World Cupwill not be through the qualifiers. By reaching the quarter-finals, they will be fast-tracked through with automatic qualifying."

Loading article content