Archive | October 2016

Rugby league ambassador Hazem El Masri guest of honour on opening night of Lebanon season

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Date: 30 October 2016

Contact: Remond Safi | +961 3 404345| info

LRLF AMBASSADOR HAZEM EL MASRI GUEST AT SEASON OPENER

The leading points’ scorer in a career and season in the history of Australian rugby league, Tripoli north Lebanon-born Hazem El Masri, was a guest of University of Balamand at this weekend’s launch of the Lebanon College Rugby League Championship.

The former Canterbury Bulldogs superstar, who played for the Cedars in the 2000 World Cup, watched UOB defeat Lebanese American University 22-10, in a repeat of last season’s CRL Division 1 Grand Final.

In July, El Masri became one of three Lebanese Rugby League Federation ambassadors – alongside world title-winning boxer Billy ‘The Kid’ Dib and current Australia rugby union coach Michael Cheika – and he was impressed with the progress being made in his homeland for whom he last played in 2003, in the Mediterranean Cup.

“I had a great time alongside a big crowd watching the opening match of the year,” said 40-year-old El Masri. “I felt so that excited that I even wanted to put my boots back on! The standard of skill and speed of some of the players has improved so much since the last time I was here over 13 years ago. I was so proud and impressed to be there watching and meeting the players and it’s good to see the sport has such a big fan base in Lebanon, especially with them preparing for being in the World Cup next year.”

El Masri was presented with a university gift-pack from UOB Athletics Director Tony Dib whilst Balamand captain Darwich Darwich said: “It was an honour hosting the NRL legend. Growing up it was a dream to meet him, he is an idol to our generation.”

Balamand is situated approximately four kilometers outside Tripoli, whose rugby league representation also consists of Tripoli RLFC, Al Mina RLFC, Lebanese International University and four rugby league-playing schools.

In the other opening round Division 1 match, Notre Dame University defeated American University of Beirut 28-16, whilst in the six-team CRL Division 2, AUB Junior Varsity beat LAU Junior Varsity 34-0. Lebanon’s club championship commences in November and the schools programme begins in January.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

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London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

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RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

2017 RLWC European Qualifier Pool B: Match 3 – IRELAND 70 RUSSIA 16 – Report

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 29 October, 2016

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

2017 RLWC EUROPEAN QUALIFIER POOL B: Match 3 – IRELAND 70 RUSSIA 16 – Report

There will be a European double-header at the Rectangular Ground in Perth next November, as Ireland qualified to play Wales in Group C of the 2017 World Cup on the same day England will face France.

The Wolfhounds were too strong for the Bears at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, running in 13 tries including doubles to Alan McMahon, Scott Grix and Ollie Roberts to win by a record score, eclipsing their 64-6 triumph over the USA in Dublin in 2004.

“It’s fantastic to make it to another World Cup,” said Ireland team manager Ged Corcoran, “And great that we can make it there with some of the domestic boys included, hopefully we can maintain that.

“There are a lot of things to put in place now but it’s about keeping this group together, adding some more quality to it and getting ready for the tournament – there’s no better places to go and play than Australia and Papua New Guinea.

“We are going to be true to our word and look after those who have committed to us over the past three years to get us there.”

The match was attended by the Russian ambassador to Ireland, who was among the dignitaries presented to the sides, and he saw his men take a shock early lead, Alexsandr Lysokon grubbering through for Vyascheslav Eramin to pounce, Lysokon goaling.

They nearly scored again from a similar move but Ireland made the most of a penalty award, Will Hope crossing and Liam Finn goaling.

Joe Keyes broke clear and quick hands sent Casey Dunne over and, in the next set, Finn’s kick was lost by the Russians and the ball shipped to the left for Galway’s Alan McMahan to cross, Finn goaling both.

The Russians were then stung by Keyes again with his pace around the ruck, Grix profiting, but Shannon McDonnell spilled the restart and Leonid Kalinin scooted over from close range.

A wonderful offload by Mikhail Burklutskii put Vyascheslav away once more but he was just halted and on the counter, Finn’s great cut out pass sending Toby King over on debut and McMahon picking up a second from more expansive passing out wide.

Just before the break, McDonnell made amends, latching onto Joe Philbin’s break and Hope’s pass.

The visitors started the second half determinedly but were undone on the back of another penalty, Roberts profiting; George King powered over and Grix then danced through for his second to bring up the half century just after the hour.

Exciting local product James Kelly was next to score but the biggest cheer reserved for Stuart Littler who went in out wide on his final appearance before retirement although he missed the conversion from wide out.

It was Littler’s break on the next set that saw Roberts grab his brace, Littler goaling for his first two-pointer in Irish colours.

The Russians had the final say with a superb run by Kalinin and brilliant switch to Vadim Buryak to complete the scoring.

Bears head coach Denis Korolev commented: “We faced quality opposition and that showed, it will teach our domestic players a good lesson. We need to recover from this game now and then we will do our best against Italy.”

Russia face Italy in Leigh, England on Friday (kick off 8pm) to determine the 14th and final nation to qualify for the 2017 World Cup.

IRELAND 70

1 Shannon McDonnell

2 Alan McMahon

3 Stuart Littler

4 Toby King

5 Casey Dunne

6 Scott Grix

7 Liam Finn

8 George King

9 Joe Keyes

10 Luke Ambler

11 Will Hope

12 Dave Allen

13 Ollie Roberts

Subs (all used)

14 Joe Philbin

15 Matty Hadden

16 James Kelly

17 Gareth Gill

Tries: Hope (7), Dunne (10), McMahon (13, 36), Grix (23, 62), T King (32), McDonnell (38), Roberts (46, 72), G King (59), J Kelly (64), Littler (69)

Goals: Finn 8/11, Littler 1/2

RUSSIA 16

1 Vyascheslav Eramin

2 Vadim Buryak

3 Kiril Kosharin

4 Leonid Kalinin

5 Dmitri Braktko

6 Aleksandr Lysokon

7 Denis Tyulenev

8 Sergey Konstantinov

9 Petr Botnarash

10 Ivan Troikskii

11 Andrey Kuznetsov

12 Mikhail Burklutskii

13 Nikolai Zagoskin

Subs (all used)

14 Vadim Fedchuk

15 Vladimir Vlasyuk

16 Maksim Tsynkovich

17 Maksim Suchkov

Tries: Eramin (4), Kalinin (26), Buryak (79)

Goals: Lysokon 2/3

Half time: 38-12

Referee: Chris Kendall

Attendance: 867

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

2017 RLWC European Qualifier Pool A: Match 3 – ITALY 14 WALES 20 – Report

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 29 October, 2016

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

2017 RLWC EUROPEAN QUALIFIER POOL A: Match 3 – ITALY 14 WALES 20 – REPORT

“It’s really pleasing, if you are going to achieve things it’s got to be difficult but the collective spirit, desire and passion was there for all to see,” said victorious Wales coach John Kear as his side qualified for the 2017 World Cup after beating Italy 20-14, in a tense thriller at the Stadio Brianteo in Monza.

Kear, who led England in the 2000 World Cup and has also taken charge of France added: “We’ve had a lot of adversity over the qualifiers, we’ve had to bring new players in because of injuries and lost a half-back so had to reshuffle, as well as losing Rhodri Lloyd to a hamstring injury here early on, but we showed a collective will to get the job done and finished the stronger.

“At 14-6 down going into half time we needed something and Anthony Walker came up with a special play. People like Matty Fozard have come of age in these games and I’ve been delighted to see how much he’s improved, and Phil Joseph was a giant in the middle.”

Wales debutant Danny Ansell came off the bench to play a prominent part but Kear was at pains to share the praise.

“We refocussed on how we had success and defended well, that’s the basis of how we’ve triumphed here. We’ll now monitor everyone who is available to play for Wales but this bunch who’ve rolled their sleeves up and got their elbows and knees dirty are already on the front foot.”

“I’m so pleased in the manner in which we’ve qualified. Some of the players felt that they didn’t do themselves justice in the 2013 World Cup and are looking at putting that right.”

Young St Helens centre Ben Morris, who made his debut for the Welsh the week before in the international with Jamaica made a big impression, crossing for the opening try in the 15th minute after Fozard had broken clear and positioned him to the posts with an inside pass, Courtney Davies goaling.

Lloyd White’s kicks caused problems but Italy enjoyed most of the possession for the next 10 minutes and on a third repeat set from consecutive drop outs, Colin Wilkie jinked onto a pass to score, Terry Campese levelling with the conversion.

Straight after, a fumbled kick by the visitors saw winger Justin Castellaro go over in the corner, Campese nailing the conversion and then a penalty, after he was hit late by Gil Dudson on 37th minutes.

Wales hit back immediately, Walker picking up the ball from the back of a scrum 20 metres out and crashing over, Davies wide with the goal attempt to leave it 14-10 at the break.

Wales were ahead 12 minutes after the break, Italy fumbling a White kick and Fozard swooping to send Andrew Gay in to score, Davies edging them ahead with a terrific touchline conversion.

And, just before the hour, on the back of Craig Kopczak’s break, Fozard was again the provider with a popped pass for Morris’ second, Davies wide with the extras.

From there it became a tough, physical battle, Joe Burke suffering a badly broken nose but Wales held on, their travelling band of 200 fans getting louder as victory grew nearer.

The Italians, who put on a day-long festival of rugby league including their ‘A’ team going down 26-16 to Belgium in the curtain-raiser, were kept scoreless in the second half and ran out of attacking ideas in the closing stages, having twice dropped the ball in the corner.

Ansell nearly uncovered Wales’ record try scorer Rhys Williams with a kick to the corner, and he wide with a drop goal attempt five minutes from time but the determined Welsh hung on.

“It’s pretty disappointing but I thought that Wales were the better team,” said Italy head coach Cameron Ciraldo. “They had a lot more energy than us but we are going to have to go the hard way now if we want to make the final World Cup place.

“We’ve got to fix up a few areas in our game that we didn’t execute very well but they were all very brave. We had a gastro virus that ran through the camp all week and some guys lost four or five kilos and we didn’t know if they would be able to play, but they put their hands up.”

ITALY 14

2. Chris Centrone

3. Justin Castellaro

15. Christophe Calegari

4. Mirco Bergamasco

5. Richard Lepori

6. Terry Campese

7. Ryan Ghietti

8. Shannon Wakeman

9. Dean Parata

10. Gavin Hiscox

11. Jayden Walker

12. Brenden Santi

13. Joel Reithmuller

Subs (all used):

1. Mason Cerruto

14. Col Wilkie

16. Kieran Quabba

17. Gioele Celerino

Tries: Wilkie (26), Castellaro (29)

Goals: Campese 3/3

WALES 20

1. Elliot Kear

2. Rhys Williams

26. Ben Morris

16. Andrew Gay

3. Dai Evans

6. Courtney Davies

17. Matty Fozard

8. Gil Dudson

9. Lloyd White

10. Craig Kopczak

11. Rhodri Lloyd

12. Phil Joseph

13. Steve Parry

Subs (all used):

14. Joe Burke

15. Anthony Walker

23. Sam Hopkins

24. Danny Ansell

Tries: Morris (16, 59), Walker (37), Gay (52)

Goals: Davies 2/4

Half time: 14-10

Referee: Chris Campbell

Attendance: 839

Pic credit: Ben Morris scores – by Ian Lovell

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

2017 RLWC European Qualifier Pool A: Match 3 – ITALY v WALES – Preview

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 28 October 2016

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

2017 RLWC EUROPEAN QUALIFIER POOL A: Match 3 – ITALY v WALES – PREVIEW

Italy has picked the same 19, but Wales are forced into changes as the nations meet at the Stadio Brianteo in Monza tomorrow (Saturday), to decide the Pool A automatic qualifiers for the 2017 World Cup.

The winners will play in Group C alongside co-hosts Papua New Guinea next year, with the losers headed for the final qualifying play-off in Leigh next Friday (4 November).

The Azzurri are fresh from a comprehensive 62-14 win in Serbia for the first-ever rugby league match in the sports-mad city, with the kick off time moved to 4pm CET to accommodate a festival of rugby league, including a curtain-raiser which will see Italy ‘A’ face Belgium.

Italy head coach Cameron Ciraldo commented: “Wales are deserved favourites and have a very strong squad and a number of very talented players who are in good form.

“We are very excited to be playing at home in Monza and hopefully have a good crowd to support us. We have come together very well and I’m confident we can challenge, I believe a lot in this group.”

Terry Campese will again lead the Italian charge, the squad having come through a virus that ran through the camp this week.

Wales are forced into three changes after Ollie Olds, who suffered a broken hand in their home win over Serbia, Jake Emmitt who picked up a hamstring injury in training and Ian Newbury, who damaged a leg in their draw with Jamaica last Friday, were all ruled out.

Lewis Reece, Regan Grace and Christiaan Roets are also unable to travel so young St Helens backrower Ben Morris, Leigh prop Sam Hopkins and Hunslet playmaker Danny Ansell are all included.

“Italy are very experienced, they have a lot of talented heritage players in their squad,” said Wales coach John Kear.

“They had a good win in Serbia last weekend and looked dangerous so we know that it’s going to be a big challenge. After the disappointing draw with Jamaica which acted as a wake-up call, we’ve had a good week in training and we’ll be looking to go out there and put in a performance.

“Hopefully, that’ll be enough to get us through to next year’s World Cup.”

The nations met in the group stages of the 2013 World Cup, with Italy winning 32-16 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The match will be live streamed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3d8XnEjJng

ITALY 19-MAN SQUAD

Dean Parata (Blacktown), Patrik Ziliotti (Brianza Tigers), Joel Reithmuller (Cairns Brothers), Jayden Walker (Cronulla Sharks), Terry Campese, (Hull KR), Christophe Calegari (Lezignan Corbieres), Guiseppe Pagani (Lions Brescia), Gavin Hiscox (Mackay Cutters), Gioele Celerino (Newcastle Thunder), Kieran Quabba (North Queensland Cowboys), Ryan Ghietti, Col Wilkie, Justin Castellaro (Northern Pride), Richard Lepori (Oldham Roughyeds), Mason Cerruto (Parramatta Eels), Shannon Wakeman (St George-Illawarra), Brenden Santi (Townsville Blackhawks), Chris Centrone (Wyong Roos), Mirco Bergamasco (unattached)

WALES 19-MAN SQUAD

Danny Ansell (Hunslet Hawks), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (London Broncos), Andrew Gay (Mackay Cutters), Joe Burke (Oldham), Phil Joseph (vice captain) Craig Kopczak (captain) (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Courtney Davies, Dai Evans, Connor Farrer (South Wales Ironmen), Ben Morris (St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Morgan Evans, Steve Parry (University of Gloucestershire All Golds), Anthony Walker (Wakefield Wildcats) and Gil Dudson, Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings)

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Latest Rugby League World Rankings Announced

Current world number one ranked nation and Ladbrokes Four Nations holders, New Zealand, will have their position under threat by both Australia and England as the tournament kicks off this weekend.

If the Kangaroos are triumphant in regaining the trophy they last won in 2011, then Mal Meninga’s men will go back to the top.

“We are looking more at improving performance than being number one, that will take care of itself if we get everything else right,” said Meninga at the tournament launch at Liverpool FC, where the final will be held on 20 November.

Should England, under Wayne Bennett for the first time in competition, win the silverware for the first time – having been runners up twice – then they could also emerge at the top of the standings, subject to the margins of victory and the result between the Antipodean nations.

Scotland, who make their first appearance in Four Nations games, will start at ninth position and are keen to use the opportunity to play the top ranked nations as a springboard going into next year’s World Cup.

The Bravehearts qualified for the Ladbrokes Four Nations courtesy of their win in the 2014 European Championships against Wales, Ireland and France.

Outside of the top 10, Jamaica is the biggest riser, moving up from 27 to 16, a result of their recent spate of games against Canada (14) and the USA (10) plus their successful first-time matches in Europe against Ireland and Wales, who were ranked sixth and eighth respectively.

JRLA director of rugby Romeo Monteith commented: “We can justifiably be a top 10 nation with the cadre of UK and domestic based players we have.”

“Our incredible performances against Wales and Ireland leaves no doubt in my mind that our strategy now to play games in Europe annually, alongside matches in the Americas Championship, is the way forward.

Monteith added: “Rugby league needs excitement outside the top nations, and with our unique Caribbean flair we stand ready to rock the world with reggae rugby league.”

Full Rankings

1. New Zealand
2. Australia
3. England
4. Samoa
5. France
6. Fiji
7. Ireland
8. Wales
9. Scotland
10. USA
11. Serbia
12. PNG
13. Tonga
14. Canada
15. Italy
16. Jamaica
17. Belgium
18. Russia
19. Spain
20. Malta
21. Lebanon
22. Cook Islands
23. Ukraine
24. Germany
25. Czech Republic
26. Norway
27. Denmark
28. Greece
29. Sweden
30. Netherlands
31. South Africa
32. Philippines
33. Niue
34. Chile
35. Vanuatu
36. Latvia
37. Solomon Islands
38. Hungary
39. El Salvador
40. Morocco

* The World Rankings are based upon the results in international matches over the past five years, with more recent results carrying a greater weighting. They also take into account the relative strength of the opponents and the level and type of competition.

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2017 RLWC European Qualifier Pool B: Match 3 – IRELAND v RUSSIA – Preview

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 27 October 2016

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

2017 RLWC EUROPEAN QUALIFIER POOL B: Match 3 – IRELAND v RUSSIA – PREVIEW

Ireland bring in Warrington Wolves duo Joe Philbin and debutant Toby King – who will play alongside brother George – for their Pool B decider at the Carlisle Grounds in Bray, against Russia on Saturday (kick off 5pm)

The pair replace Haydn Peacock and Parramatta prop James Hasson, who paid his own way over to appear in the win in Valencia last week but has had to return home for pre-existing commitments.

The winners will qualify for the 2017 competition to play in Group C alongside co-hosts Papua New Guinea, with the losers headed for the final qualifying play-off in Leigh next Friday (4 November).

Ireland head coach Mark Aston commented: “This is another big challenge against Russia who had an impressive win against Spain. They’re a big and physical outfit and we need to keep our standards high as I thought against Spain we let them slip. We’ll be looking for high completion and playing with plenty of tempo, that holds the key to our success.”

Aston added: “The players are really looking forward to getting the job done this weekend at home in front of our passionate fans. Then we can start planning for the 2017 World Cup.”

Russia, who had a good win over the Spanish in Moscow a fortnight ago, name the same 19 for this encounter as they look to qualify for their first World Cup since 2000. Their Embassy in Ireland has distributed over 500 tickets to the local Russian community in and around Dublin and are looking for enthusiastic backing.

Head coach Denis Korolev noted: “We are ready to face group leaders Ireland this weekend. We understand how difficult this match is going to be but at the same time it is very significant for us. We have ironed out a lot of the mistakes we made against Spain and we are ready to fight for the victory.”

Before the game, over 20 nations will gather in Bray at the RLEF annual congress where RL International Federation chief executive David Collier will also be present.

IRELAND 19-MAN SQUAD
Gareth Gill (Ballynahinch Rabbitohs), Chris Hall (Belfast Met Scholars), Joe Keyes (Bradford Bulls), James Kelly, Mikey Russell (Dublin City Exiles), Alan McMahon (Galway Tribesmen), Luke Ambler (Halifax), Oliver Roberts (Huddersfield Giants), Casey Dunne (Longhorns RL), Will Hope (Oldham Roughyeds), Matty Hadden (Rochdale Hornets), Shannon McDonnell (St Helens), Stuart Littler (Swinton), Liam Finn, Scott Grix (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), George King, Toby King, Joe Philbin, (Warrington Wolves), Dave Allen (Whitehaven)

RUSSIA 19-MAN SQUAD

Viacheslav Eremin, Andrey Kuznetsov, (Dynamo), Kirill Kosharin (CSKA Moscow), Ivan Troitskii (Ivanovo White Sharks), Vadim Buryak, Leonid Kalinin, Maxim Tsinkovich (Lokomotiv Moscow), Petr Botnarash, Mikhail Burlutskii, Sergey Gaponov, Sergei Konstantinov, Aleksandr Lysokon, Maksim Suchkov, Denis Tiulenev, Vladimir Vlasyuk, Nikolai Zagoskin (Nara), Dmitry Bratko, Igor Chuprin, Vadim Fedchuk (Moscow Storm)

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

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London W1T 6EJ

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England to host RLWC2021 – North America recommended for RLWC2025

The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) is delighted to announce that England has been awarded the rights to stage the 2021 Rugby League Men’s and Women’s World Cups.

Following an exhaustive process, which included strong competition from other nations, the non-conflicted Directors of the RLIF Board met on 18 October to review presentations from the two shortlisted bidders, England and the Moore Sports International (MSI) USA/Canada Bid.

Bids were assessed against seven criteria provided in the bid documentation.

England scored heavily in respect of its supporter base and UK government support, both in terms of the £25 million government support of the event and its legacy, as well as in areas such as visas, security, international development and promotion of the event.

The MSI USA/Canada Bid scored impressively in many areas, including but not limited to, the support of the RLIF strategy to extend the global reach of Rugby League as well as in marketing, commercial support and innovation. The Board, acknowledging the strength of the MSI USA/Canada bid, made the decision to recommend to Congress in November the award of the 2025 Rugby League World Cup together with, subject to further evaluation, an Inter-nations tournament to MSI USA/Canada to be played between the 2021 and 2025 World Cups.

Ultimately, England edged out the MSI USA/Canada Bid for the 2021 RLWC, primarily based on the current Rugby League participation numbers in North America.

RLIF Chief Executive David Collier, commented:

“The RLIF congratulates both England and MSI USA/Canada on outstanding bids.

With specific reference to the England Bid, which is built upon achieving a spectator attendance in excess of one million and the delivery of a £10 million capital legacy programme, this will be of massive benefit to our sport. England staged an outstanding World Cup in 2013 and have clearly outlined their vision for the 2021 World Cup as a World Class event eclipsing the attendances, reach and legacy of 2013. The bid details that the Rugby League World Cup will be the highlight of the international sporting calendar in England that year and RLIF looks forward to a great tournament.

The MSI USA/Canada Bid provided the RLIF with an unprecedented opportunity to take Rugby League’s pinnacle Event, the World Cup, to the commercially lucrative and passionate sports audience of North America. As outlined in the Bid presentation, significant opportunities with regards to Rugby League development at both the elite level and even more extensively at the junior levels of the game, gave MSI USA/Canada’s Bid extremely compelling qualities.The bid process was highly competitive and the Board was very impressed by the MSI USA/Canada bid which was of the highest quality. The RLIF sees a great future for the sport in North America and has recommended that discussions with MSI are expedited to bring professional Rugby League to North America as well as future international tournaments. Those discussions are being progressed with MSI USA/Canada and a report will be presented to Congress which will be held on 19 November this year.”

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