The Rugby League International Federation said they want the tournament to build on the “accomplishments” of the 2013 World Cup, which saw games in England, Wales, France and Ireland.
“This was not a simple decision but… we were determined to get it right,” said Nigel Wood, Chairman of the bid committee and RLIF Vice-Chair.
“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 are current World Cup holders after beating New Zealand in November’s final.
It will be the third time the pair have staged the event together.
Details of the qualifying competition for the tournament and the Festival of World Cups will be announced later.
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