Australia and New Zealand have pulled out of the Rugby League World Cup.
Both countries said that player welfare related to Covid-19 was the main reason for the decision.
This means that New Zealand would not be present at the men’s, women’s and wheelchair events that are scheduled to take place in England this November.
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) chief Greg Peters said it was “simply too unsafe” to take part.
A number of organisations, including the International Rugby League Federation and Great Britain Rugby League were critical of the decision to withdraw.