Spain, Russia and Serbia have begun their preparations for October’s European Championship B, which doubles as a qualifier for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England. The top two nations will join Italy, plus the winners of Euro C and the bottom two nations from the European Championships, in a final qualifying tournament in a year’s time.
Spain host the opening game against the Russians in Valencia.
“It is very big news for our organisation to be involved once again in a RLWC qualifying tournament,” commented the Spanish Rugby League Association’s administrator, Aitor Davila. “It will be our first time competing at this level, so we are very interested to discover just what role we can play.
“At the same time, taking part in this type of competition helps us to be recognised as a sport in Spain, and increase interest in XIII del Toro. Being involved in an elite level environment will give our domestic players a lot of experiences and information to take back to their clubs and continue our growth.”
Head of the Russian Federation of Clubs, Denis Korolev, noted: “Participation in international matches always has a positive impact on development. I am glad that our team regularly participates in Euro B, thereby attracting more home interest towards Rugby League in Russia. Such games give great experience to our players and increase their level of mastership.”
Predrag Pantic, president of the Serbian Rugby League said: “We are very excited for our Test side to get back into competitive rugby. We are beginning a new long road that we hope will end at WC2021.
“It is very important to have a good start. Last time around we won this competition, which makes us favourites – a role that we have to embrace. Mostly we have returning experienced players, but also we want to offer opportunity to some of our younger boys, especially after last month’s encouraging results at the U19s, in Belgrade, which gave us very good exposure.”
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B FIXTURES
|6 Oct 2018 – 15:00||Spain||Russia||Quatre Carreres, Valencia|
|13 Oct 2018 – 15:00||Russia||Serbia||Fily Stadium, Moscow|
|20 Oct 2018 – 14:00||Serbia||Spain||Makis Stadium, Belgrade|