Wales Rugby League have had to move the date of their Rugby League European Championship match against France, which will now take place on Friday 30th October with a 6.30pm kick-off at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
The encounter has been moved forward a day from the original date of Saturday 31st October at the request of the Cardiff rugby union club who have now been given a local league match on the Saturday that is unable to be moved.
The kick-off time has been set so there is little clash with the Rugby Union World Cup third place play-off game on television where the Wales RU side could potentially feature, as they did four years ago.
It has also been confirmed that the Wales v France Rugby League match will be the official 80th anniversary game of the Rugby League European Championship and is set to be a memorable occasion.
Wales took on France on 1st January 1935 in the very first European Championship game and also faced each other in Llanelli later that year on November 23rd 1935 in the opening match of the second tournament.
England won the first three-team competition but Wales took the title in the 1935-36, 1936-37 and 1937-38 in one of the sport’s golden eras in Wales.
WRL’s chief operating officer Chris Thair said: “After long negotiation, we’re pleased to reach an agreement with BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. We didn’t want to move the location of the game as the Arms Park is ideally located in the heart of Cardiff and is also the home ground of one of our leading community clubs in Cardiff City RL.
“We’re delighted that it’s been approved by the Rugby League European Federation that this match will celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the European Championship – a long and established tournament that we’re pleased to be competing in once again.”
There have been 31 European Championships tournaments in history with Wales winning six, having also taken the title in 1995, 2009 and 2010, and Wales coach John Kear says that the team are going to well prepared for this year’s tournament.
“We’re just in the process of selecting the squad right now and we’re confident that we’ll have a stronger squad than last year,” Kear said. “We’ll be announcing the captain and vice-captain in early September and the final squad selection will take place during the Super League and Championship play-off series.
“We’ve four matches to play, including the Danny Jones Testimonial in Keighley and we’re very much looking forward to our month of action.”
Tickets for Wales v France will be on sale from next week. Please check www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk for more details.