Lebanon has endured one of the most turbulent stories in this Nines World Cup after the minnow nation produced the biggest upset of the tournament and still failed to qualify for the knockout stage.

Fresh off a win in their first game, Lebanon stunned the rugby league world when they upset England early on Saturday — but the fairytale turned into a nightmare after they were discovered to have two players under the age of 18 on their team.

In a moment of high drama, Lebanon had the two 17-year-old players banned ahead of their final group game against Wales.

The news broke less than an hour before Lebanon took to the field and they were heavily beaten 25-14, although it's believed team management had been warned on Thursday the players were too young.

Advertisement

Under NRL rules, players must be 18 to take the field but international laws dictate the minimum age is 16.

The Nines is an international event run by the NRL.

It led to some farcical scenes where the NRL were reportedly asking Lebanon players for their driver's licences.

The action appeared to rock Lebanon to its core. They only had to beat Wales on Saturday afternoon to progress through to the knockout stage — but they were smashed by Wales to leave the door open for England.

England's 38-4 win over France then sealed their passage through at the expense of Lebanon.

Lebanon were eliminated in the 25-14 loss to Wales, which included two players being sent to the sin bin.

The all-in brawl late saw Wales' Daniel Fleming and Lebanon's Travis Robinson sent from the field.

In the semifinals Australia will play Samoa while New Zealand and England will clash for a spot in the final.

Advertisement

In the women's draw, New Zealand also face England in the semifinals.