Serbia, Wales and Italy have begun preparations for the 2107 Rugby League World Cup, Pool A European Qualifiers. Current European Champions, Wales start as favourites, the Serbs are looking for a passage to the main tournament for the first time and the Azzurri are attempting to build on their encouraging 2013 showing.
“Winning European Championship B last year and getting a chance to continue our quest to the World Cup 2017 is history making for Serbian Rugby League.,” said their president Predrag Pantic. “We are excited and honoured to be in this position but we won’t be fazed by the great opportunity we earned with hard work and dedication.”
Wales Rugby League is looking to build structure, as well as take their place in the Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea staged World Cup next year.
“We are geared towards improving the performance of the national team and improving the structure of the domestic league,” said CEO, Chris Thair. “An appearance at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup would provide a platform to do that. We want to gain financial reserves and make sure that 2018 is a turning point for the sport in Wales. “
Orazio D’Arro, president of the FIRL (Italian Rugby League Federation) expects their game at Monza, as part of a ‘festival of rugby league,’ to be a turning point for the sport in his country.
“This is an important moment for us and our development, we have prepared well and created a strong and united group of players,” he said. “We have worked hard to give stability to our domestic league and, at the same time, tried to create a large, proud, young national squad. “
RLWC2017 – EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS – POOL A
15 October 2016 – Wales v Serbia, Stebonheath Park, Llanelli
22 October 2016 – Serbia v Italy, Makis Stadium, Belgrade
29 October 206 – Italy v Wales, Stadio Brianteo, Monza