France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will meet each other in the autumn after the draw was confirmed for the 2014 European Championships.
The winners will qualify for the 2016 Four Nations tournament to be held in the northern hemisphere.
It will be a re-entry into the Test arena for all four after the 2013 World Cup where the Scots, particularly, impressed reaching the quarter finals for the first time and they will host matches at Workington – which was a sell-out for them last autumn – and Galashiels.
Their head coach Steve McCormack commented, “Everyone involved in Scotland Rugby League is really pleased that arrangements for the European Championships are now in place, especially after hosting such a successful Commonwealth 9s in Glasgow.”.
“Following a very exciting World Cup, we see this as a very important part of the international calendar and we will be giving the tournament our full focus. It will be great to have international rugby league back on everyone’s agenda here in October.”
Opposite number for Ireland, Mark Aston, added: “The 2013 World Cup is still a fond memory but we are already looking forward to the next one in 2017.”
“We’ve started to build something special with Ireland so it’s very important that we carry on adding to the foundation we laid. The players really enjoyed the challenge of playing against three of the World’s best teams in the competition and really started to gel.”
“We see the next three years as part of the preparation for 2017 so we are looking for players to commit now and make themselves available from minute one,” he said, his side playing their fixtures in Dublin.
His thoughts were echoed by Brian Juliff, Chairman of Wales RL, who have just appointed John Kear as their national coach.
“The Celtic Nations and France recognise the importance of international competition on a regular basis. The announcement that 2014 will see us compete for a place in the prestigious Four Nations competition is welcome and very encouraging for the sport in Europe.”
“Following on from the great excitement and experience of competing in RLWC2013, Wales Rugby League eagerly look forward to matching our young, developing squad at senior level against our neighbours.”
RUGBY LEAGUE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – FIXTURES
17 Oct – Scotland v Wales, 8pm. Derwent Park Workington
18 Oct – Ireland v France, 2pm. Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
25 Oct – Ireland v Scotland, 2pm. Tallaght Stadium, Dublin
25 Oct – France v Wales, 3pm. Albi Stadium, Albi
31 Oct – Scotland v France, 7.30pm. Netherdale, Galashiels
2 Nov – Wales v Ireland, 2.30 Racecourse Ground, Wrexham