By Zjan Shirinian

Australia and New Zealand, who went toe-to-toe in last year's Rugby League World Cup final, will co-host the 2017 tournament ©Getty ImagesFebruary 19 - Australia and New Zealand will co-host the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

Their joint bid was up against one other, from South Africa, for the right to stage the tournament.

The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) said today it has "moved quickly" to select the hosts.

"This was not a simple decision but with fans of international Rugby League buoyed by the recent success of RLWC2013, we were determined to get it right," said RLIF vice-chairman and chairman of the Bid Committee, Nigel Wood.

"Both bids were thoroughly compelling but the joint Australia/New Zealand bid was selected as the one with the greatest chance of success in providing more compelling games in world-class environments in front of big, passionate crowds.

"The bid from South Africa was very strong, prepared professionally and clearly demonstrated a passion for Rugby League that is growing by the day in that country."

Australia and New Zealand co-hosted the Rugby League World Cup in 1968 and 1977.

The tournament has also been staged twice solely in Australia, in 1957 and 2008.

In 2013, matches were hosted in England, Wales, France and Ireland.

The World Cup was won by Australia for a record tenth time, after a resounding 34-2 victory over New Zealand in the final.

Dates for the 2017 tournament have yet to be announced and details of the qualifying competition will be revealed in due course, the RILF said.