RLEF plan women’s and wheelchair competitions but delay MEA Championship

Following its first meeting of the year, which welcomed new director Luc Lacoste – recently elected president of the French Federation – and general manager David Butler, the Rugby League European Federation board has approved plans to consult the membership on the staging of a 2022 Women’s European Championship and a 2023 Wheelchair European Championship.

However, due to the continued global disruption of Covid-19, a decision to postpone the 2021 Middle East Africa Championship by a year was endorsed. The board also asked the executive to prepare options on how to deliver the planned 2021 Euro B, Euro C and Euro D competitions scheduled for later this year, and will delay until March a decision on staging the 2021 U20’s European Championship in Italy.

Later this month, the RLEF will undertake a governance audit conducted by the Sports Integrity Global Alliance (SIGA), and the board approved the terms of reference for its governance working group who will work through those findings.

“There is still much uncertainty as a result of the global pandemic which has, understandably, had a knock-on effect for much of the RLEF’s planning for its 2021,” said chair Maurice Watkins CBE.  “We will carefully use our time until safe, approved return to plan for different eventualities to give us a range of options for when it comes to being in a position to make those decisions. We appreciate the patience and full cooperation of our members and are fully supportive of their efforts at this unprecedented time .”

This is the year of the Rugby League World Cup 2021