THE Rugby League World Cup should be pushed back to next year if it means Australia and New Zealand can compete.

Those are the thoughts of Warrington Wolves prop Chris Hill, who has featured in the past two tournaments as part of the England team.

Last week, the Australian Rugby League Commission and New Zealand Rugby League confirmed they would not be sending teams to the competition in England, which is due to start on October 23.

They cited the strict quarantine protocols that would be required of players and officials travelling from Australia amid the Covid-19 pandemic as their reason, but the decision has attracted criticism from these shores.

Hill, who has 29 England caps, believes that if the tournament went ahead and England won it – which they would be favourites to do on home soil without the world's top two teams – there would always be an added caveat.

Organisers are said to be reluctant to postpone the tournament as it would then clash with the football World Cup in Qatar, which would start as the rugby is coming into its final stages.

However, the Wire front-rower believes it may well be the only option to ensure a fair tournament.

"It’s disappointing," he said of the decision taken by the Kangaroos and Kiwis.

"I get where they’re coming as their players are in an isolation bubble for the NRL up in Queensland. I know some of them have taken their families up but it will be hard.

"I personally don’t think the World Cup can go ahead without the two top nations.

"If we went on and won it, there would be an asterisk against our name because Australia and New Zealand haven’t taken part.

"Maybe pushing it back a year would be my option."

Since the decision was announced, a number of top Australian and New Zealand players have stated their willingness to travel to England and take part in the tournament.

Indeed, it has been mooted that Indigenous All-Stars and Maori All-Stars teams could be sent in their place.

However, that is not an idea Hill appears too keen on.

"There’s been ideas tossed up about throwing an All-Stars team in there but I don’t think that’s right," he said.

"There would be some quality players in an Indigenous team or a Maori team, but if they’re not coming over as Australia or New Zealand it would be earmarked as a second-string.

"Personally, I think we should wait until they come over."

Given his form in a Wire shirt so far this season, there is of course a chance that Hill himself could be involved with England once again.

Even though he has reached the autumn of his career at 33, he has been impressive for Steve Price's side this season and with national team head coach Shaun Wane open to bringing those who show good form back into the fold, the door may well be open.

However, he insisted an England recall is not something he is thinking about.

"We’ll see. It’s not in my mind at the minute," he said.

"I just want to concentrate on my own form and if that gets me in with a shout, I’ll decide at the end of the year.

"There’s a lot going on for me off the field at the moment, so we’ll see."