|Host country Australia|
Start date 1957
Number of teams 4
|Winner Australia (1st title)|
Top scorer Brian Carlson
Points scored 204
Matches played 6
|Top try scorers Mick Sullivan (3)
Ian Moir (3)
Kel O'Shea (3)|
Similar 1954 Rugby League, 1975 Rugby League, 1995 Rugby League, 2000 Rugby League, 2008 Rugby League
The second Rugby League World Cup was held in Australia in 1957. As before a group stage was held first, with matches being held at locations in Sydney and Brisbane.
The 1957 World Cup marked the 50th anniversary of rugby league in Australia but the hosts were not confident of their ability to lift the trophy, having capitulated in the Ashes series in England barely seven months previously. Great Britain, under Alan Prescott, and boasting world-class backs such as Billy Boston, Mick Sullivan, Jeff Stevenson and Lewis Jones, and a formidable pack, were expected to win with Jacques Merquey's French side a dark horse.
In the end Australia were dominant, winning all matches and were declared the champions by virtue of finishing top of the group – there was no World Cup Final. Best and fairest awards were made to individual nations, the recipients being Gilbert Benausse (France), Brian Carlson (Australia), Phil Jackson (Great Britain) and Bill Sorensen (New Zealand).
Captain/Coach Dick Poole Keith Barnes, Brian Carlson, Brian Clay, Brian Davies, Greg Hawick, Keith Holman, Ken Kearney, Ken McCaffery, Billy Marsh, Ian Moir, Kel O'Shea, Norm Provan, Ray Ritchie, Don Schofield, Tom Tyquin, Alex Watson, Harry Wells
Referee Vic Belsham from New Zealand controlled three matches at the World Cup, including controlling one of New Zealand's matches. New Zealand included his brother Sel at halfback.
Australia easily accounted for New Zealand but lost full-back Keith Barnes and scrum-half back Keith Holman with injuries for the remainder of the tournament.
A magnificent attendance of 50,077 converged on the Sydney Cricket Ground for this game between neutrals France and Great Britain. France was an absolute crowd favourite in Sydney at the time, having entertained successive crowds of 60,000 or more for the previous four Tests played against Australia at the SCG in 1951 and 1955 respectively.
After a close first half the Australians smashed the Lions 31–6. Holman's replacement Ken McCaffery, makeshift fullback Brian Carlson and a dominant Australian pack were the main instruments in the carve-up of the British defence.
This comfortable victory over the French saw Aussie skipper Dick Poole lead his men off the SCG as World Cup champions even before the final game was played on the same ground three days later.
This game gave New Zealand their first ever win in a World Cup. A shell-shocked Britain matched the Kiwis try for try but Bill Sorensen's seven goals to Lewis Jones' three made the difference.