Netherlands Paulie

The Nederlandse Rugby League Bond has announced that they will play three fixtures, two at home and one away, this autumn as they continue to prepare for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers. The 2021 Euro D winners will travel to Spain – the nations meeting for the first time – and then host Sweden, followed by Germany in the traditional, annual Griffin Cup.

The Dutch, under new head coach Dave Hunter, will visit Madrid on 17 September, meet the Swedes for the third time at Zaandijk RC in Zaandam a week later, and face Germany at the British School in the Netherlands, Voorschoton on 8 October, where they hope to attract a record crowd.

Hunter commented; “These fixtures are extremely important for the continued development of Dutch Rugby League. The guys won Euro D, but this year we’ll go up against a higher-ranked nation in Spain. It’s a great opportunity to test ourselves.

“It will give the coaching staff and playing group a chance to see where we need to be at to compete with the big boys. Sweden will be hungry to get their first win over us after defeats in Amsterdam and Gothenburg in 2017 and 18, and playing Germany is always a tough match, there is a real rivalry there.”

Hunter added: “This season will be about putting structure in place and developing combinations to ensure we are well placed to be as competitive as possible for Euro B in 2023. It may also be a chance to look at some younger players and those who missed out on selection last year. Hopefully, we can create some real competition for squad places and the guys will continue to push each other to improve.”

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