At the official launch of the Rugby League European Championship, which kicks off this Friday, it has been announced that the tournament will form part of the qualification process for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Should either Ireland or Wales win, they will qualify directly, joining fellow European nations England, France and Scotland who have already been seeded.
Tournament Director Danny Kazandjian commented: “This will be the 32nd edition of European rugby league’s premier international tournament.”
“It is the pinnacle of a three-tier European Championship structure unveiled in 2013 which includes eleven countries in total – Greece winning European C on Saturday night in Athens – with this tournament featuring four of the world’s top eleven-ranked nations, in six matches played in five countries.”
Following on from the outstanding success of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, some of the profits have been used to fund this competition.
“The appetite for a robust, long-term calendar is shared by everyone involved in the sport and the European Championship brand is foremost in the planning of that calendar,” Kazandjian continued.
“It dates back to the 1930s and has the potential to become a commercially successful, marquee event, contributing to the sport’s increasing stable of highly successful and visible international occasions.”
RUGBY LEAGUE EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP 2014 – FIXTURES
Oct 17th Scotland v Wales, Workington
Oct 18th Ireland v France, Dublin
Oct 18th Ireland v Scotland, Dublin
Oct 25th France v Wales, Albi
Oct 31st Scotland v France, Galashiels
Nov 2nd Wales v Ireland, Wrexham