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Ireland through to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup ... thanks to Italy

Ireland have joined England, Wales and Scotland in the 2021 World Cup without playing a game.

The Irish moved a step closer to qualifying by beating Spain 42-8 in Valencia a week ago and became the 13th nation to secure their spot when Italy beat the Spaniards 34-4 in Lignano on Saturday .

The result eliminates Spain and sends both Ireland and Italy through ahead of their meeting in Dublin next Saturday.

As hosts and runners-up in 2017, England qualify automatically while Wales booked their spot in 2018 and Scotland qualified on Friday night thanks to a 42-24 win over Greece in London.

The final European place is now a straight shootout between Serbia and Greece in Belgrade next Saturday while the United States will take on the Cook Islands in Jacksonville to determine the 16th and final team in the line-up.

The draw will be made on November 27, two years out from the final.