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Draw confirmed for 2020 Rugby League Middle East Africa Championship

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Contact: Remond Safi, MEA Regional Director
Po Box. 1069 Jounieh, Lebanon, Office: +961 9 856345
E-mail: remond.safi

Date: 19 February, 2020

DRAW CONFIRMED FOR 2020 MEA CHAMPIONSHIP

The draw has been made for the men’s 2020 MEA Championship, with current holders Nigeria facing Lebanon for the first time. Likewise, hosts South Africa have an inaugural encounter with last year’s runners-up Morocco in the double-header semi finals on 13th October.

The two winners will face off in the decider on 17th October, with the 3rd place play-off game taking place beforehand; all matches to be played at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria.

South Africa RL president, Dr Frans Erasmus, commented: “The high on our calendar this year will definitely be the Middle East Africa Championship. I am looking forward to the event with great expectation and am confident that we can do well.”

His opposite number, Morocco RL president Yamina Abdesselem, said: “We will count on our team spirt to stand us in good stead. To start against South Africa boosts our preparation; it will not be easy, but we intend to give them a little trouble.”

This will be the third MEA Championship, with Lebanon taking the first in 2015, which was a two-legged qualifier against South Africa for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. The tournament was increased to four nations last year and will consider further expansion as it now moves to a two-year cycle. This time, almost all of the 19-man squads will be made up of domestic players, with a maximum number of six heritage players allowed.

“Nigeria are looking forward to the competition in South Africa,” noted their head coach Joe Mbu. “Lebanon will be the toughest challenge we have come across in our infancy as a rugby league nation, nevertheless, the players can’t wait to test themselves, especially as the defending champions.”

Nayef Abi Said, Lebanon RLF CEO, added: “It is good and balanced draw. This will be the first time all our nations have met which adds to the excitement overall. It should be an interesting game to play.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252

Fixtures confirmed for men’s and inaugural women’s 2020 Rugby League Americas Championship

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 18 February, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

JAMAICA TO FACE CHILE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AMERICAS CHAMPIONSHIP AND WOMEN ENTER

Kingston, Jamaica will host the 2020 men’s and inaugural women’s Americas Championship, the dates in November of which have now been confirmed.

The Reggae Warriors won the last men’s tournament in 2018 to qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup and will play in the semi final against Chile, the first time the two nations have met. In the other men’s match of a triple-header on Tuesday 10th November, Canada will play the USA Hawks.

Opening the contests, Jamaica’s women will play the first of two matches against their USA counterparts in both nation’s first official women’s games; Canada’s Ravens instead focussing on their preparations for the 2021 World Cup.

JRLA director of women’s rugby league, Antonio Baker noted: “It will be a momentous occasion for rugby league in the Americas as we seek to level the playing field in terms of gender. We want to encourage the growing female interest for the sport here. Our team will be young but we are excited at the prospect of seeing them play and the experience will benefit all involved.”

Roy Calvert, Jamaica’s lead men’s coach for the competition added: "We are elated to host the championship this year. The players and staff are really excited to perform before our local crowd and, hopefully, we can engage the wider Jamaican audience before our historic World Cup campaign next year. As nations, we are all doing our part to grow the sport and I have no doubt that rugby league can only get stronger in the Americas.”

The men’s America’s Championship was created in 2015, initially as an annual contest, with the USA claiming the first three editions; Chile joining for the first time in 2018.

Sean Rutgerson, USA men’s head coach commented: “The Hawks are really excited to travel to Jamaica. This competition is gaining momentum and gets better every year. We look forward to putting on a good show.”

His Chilean opposite number, Rod Millar, said: “This championship provides Chile RL with the opportunity to play against proven nations and allows us to gauge our development. It is paramount for our expansion of the sport both here and in the greater Latin American nations.”

“Having the America’s championship this year is a welcome opportunity, the chance of being in one place for an extended period will give us time to rekindle our relationships on and off the field,” claimed Wolverines head coach Ben Fleming. “It gives a great opportunity to our domestic players and, with so much potential on these continents, I always look forward to seeing the growth of the game when our countries come together.”

USA women’s head coach Garen Casey confirmed: “We are really excited to take our first steps as Hawks Women’s Rugby League. A lot of tireless work has been put into where we are and it is great to see rugby league developing. To be doing it alongside Jamaica, where the women’s game is on the move, is a real bonus.”

Finals day will be on Saturday 14th November, with the expanding tournament now set to take place every two years.

Men’s and Women’s 2020 Americas Championships, Kingston Jamaica

Tuesday 10th November –

Jamaica v USA (Women’s game 1)

Jamaica v Chile (Men’s semi-final 1)

USA v Canada (Men’s semi-final 2)

Saturday 14th November –

Jamaica v USA (Women’s game 2)

Men’s final & 3rd place play-off

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252

Greece women to face Serbia in rugby league international in Larisa

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 17 February, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

GREECE WOMEN TO FACE SERBIA IN LARISSA

The Greece Women’s side will play their second international, and first at home, against Serbia in Larisa on 11th April. Their inaugural Test match was in Edirne, Turkey last September.

The squad will principally be selected from the two active teams currently playing – Aris Eagles and Patras Panthers – although Athens Raiders are in the process of starting a side and will be ready to play their first friendly match soon.

Greece Women’s head coach Jim Minadakis – who has also been in charge of the Aris men’s side since 2013 – commented: “We are looking forward to a tough match against the Serbians. At club level, we faced Red Star Belgrade in May last year and we have seen their talent first-hand. I also want to thank Serbia for offering to travel down to Greece and make it easier for us to play this match.”

Serbian RL official Zeljko Delic added: “We believe that the women’s game is crucial for development of rugby league in the Balkans. Since its inception, we have had much more visibility and support locally. I believe we can incorporate a women’s element to the Balkan Super League and, perhaps, the next step should be expanding the concept to 9s, with teams playing an annual tournament in a different country every year.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252

Fixtures confirmed for four tier men’s 2020 Rugby League European Championships

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 16 February, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

FRANCE AND TURKEY EXCITED BY MEN’S EUROS FIXTURES

The fixtures for the men’s 2020 Rugby League European Championships are now confirmed with, for the first time, the competition featuring 16 nations over four tiers, and involving promotion and relegation.

Reigning champions and nine-time winners France, who played in the inaugural 1935 tournament, enter as favourites for the Championship – this year extended to six nations – however, they will face stiff competition from Wales and Scotland who have both won the Euros in last decade. Italy, Ireland and Spain are aiming to win the main competition for the first time in their history.

Marc Palanques, president of French Federation Rugby XIII, who are set to host the final, said: “As current European Champions at senior and U19 level, we view this is a very important, high profile competition, a vital highlight of the sport in the northern hemisphere.”

Newcomers Turkey, who first started playing in 2016 and became an RLEF affiliate member in 2018, will play in their first men’s tournament.

TRLA president, Gurol Yildiz, commented: “Turkish Rugby league competing in its first ever European Championship is a proud moment. It is another sign of the game’s progression both internationally and domestically here. Such fixtures will provide huge motivation for the players in the eight men’s teams and four U18 teams here, as they will form the basis of the squad. There are also heritage players to call on who have been a huge support for us – such as Aidan Sezer – which adds to the excitement.”

The European Championships takes place every two years.

Grounds and kick off times will announced in the coming months. Timings are subject to change dependent upon broadcaster requirements.

Men’s 2020 European Championship Fixtures

France v Italy, Group 1, 17-18 Oct.

Ireland v Spain, Group 2, 17-18 Oct.

Italy v Scotland, Group 1, 24-25th Oct

Wales v Ireland, Group 2, 24-25th Oct

Scotland v France, Group 1, 31st Oct – 1st Nov

Spain v Wales, Group 2, 31st Oct – 1st Nov

Final, 7-8 Nov

Men’s 2020 European Championship B Fixtures

Serbia v Russia, 17-18 Oct

Greece v Serbia, 24-25th October

Russia v Greece, 31st Oct – 1st Nov

Men’s 2020 European Championship C Fixtures

Norway v Ukraine, 17-18 Oct

Germany v Norway, 24-25th October

Ukraine v Germany, 31st Oct – 1st Nov

Men’s 2020 European Championship D Fixtures

All fixtures played between 17th October and 1st November.

Netherlands v Turkey

Turkey v Netherlands

Malta v Czechia

Czechia v Malta

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252

New start for Russian rugby league

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 11 February, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

NEW START FOR RUSSIA

A new board of directors has been appointed by the governing body for rugby league in Russia, the ARLC, together with exciting plans for the future – after assistance from the Rugby League European Federation.

One of the new appointees is Englishman Jon Christie, a teacher in Moscow who has been resident for two years with his Russian wife and child, and is a former player with Nottingham Outlaws. “Our first meeting as a board was extremely positive.” He said. “This is a new beginning for the sport in Russia and one I am extremely excited about. 2020 will see the debut of our new domestic competition and the return of our national team for the European Championships.“

Russia, reigning champions of European Championship B, withdrew from the 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers last year due to governance issues. As a result ARLC President Denis Korolev agreed that the RLEF should lead on the necessary changes.

Committed to on-going support for the sport in Russia, the RLEF were present in Moscow last week and chaired all the vital meetings to bring together the new directors. General manager Chris Thair commented: “We are delighted this first stage of reforms is now complete and my RLEF colleague Jovan Vujosevic, who has responsibility for the region, has worked tirelessly on this.

“Rugby League has a strong heritage in Russia and we feel it is a good sign that the membership voted for a mix of old and new on the board. By not electing a president straight away this also ensures that it will truly become a team effort and not all rest on one person’s shoulders.”

The ARLC’s General Assembly in Moscow had fifteen people present with the membership voting for a seven strong board of directors, one of whom will be Vujosevic, who will facilitate its running for a maximum of twelve months before stepping down.

The six new directors are: leader of RC Spartak Aleksandr Kolikov, ex-national captains Roman Ovchenilkov and Eduard Ososkov, Andrei Volkov, Maxim Grankin, Andrei Perin and Christie. Among their initial aims are to apply for recognition by the Ministry of Sport and return rugby league to the list of official sports in the Russian Federation following its removal in 2010; re-establishing 13-a-side domestic competition by building on the nine clubs who played in 9s tournaments last year; and successfully competing in the 2020 men’s European Championship B competition, where they will face Greece and Serbia.

Rugby League activities still take place in Moscow, St Petersburg, Rostov-on-Don and Sevastopol and the sport has been played in the nation since before the Second World War. The men’s national team, the Bears, played in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup.

Two years later Russia beat the USA in Moscow in front of a 25,000 crowd with the game broadcast live on state television, and at the sports height of popularity in 2004 Russia had six clubs with full time squads, over 15,000 people attending a game in their Victory Cup.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252

Nations confirmed for 2020 Rugby League Middle East Africa Championship

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

Contact: Remond Safi, MEA Regional Director
Po Box. 1069 Jounieh, Lebanon, Office: +961 9 856345
E-mail: remond.safi

Date: 6 February, 2020

LINE UP CONFIRMED FOR 2020 MEA CHAMPIONSHIP

Lebanon will return, alongside 2019 holders Nigeria, runners-up Morocco and hosts South Africa, to compete in this year’s Middle East Africa Championship, which will be held in Pretoria in the autumn.

The Cedars, who will only select players from their domestic competition – something they previously did at home to Italy in the 2017 Mediterranean Cup – last participated in the MEA Championship in 2015, defeating South Africa in both matches to qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

The LRLF is still planning to launch their local championship later this month despite civil unrest in the country which has prevented other Lebanese sporting federations from running their competitions.

Lebanon RL CEO Nayef Abi Said, commented: “We are looking forward to participating again in the MEA Championship, it will provide an opportunity for our Lebanese championship players to further prepare for RLWC 2021 as part of the LRLF’s new strategy to expand and strengthen the domestic game.”

Nigeria defeated Morocco 38-10 in Lagos to lift the MEA title last year – Ghana beating Cameroon 10-4 to claim third spot, and NRLA general manager Ade Adebisi noted: “Having been crowned champions of Africa last year, the next step is to test ourselves against previous World Cup entrants and established members in Lebanon and South Africa. This is what sport is all about, year-on-year improvement and a chance to evaluate ourselves at new levels. Domestically this is a real catalyst for Nigeria Rugby League to improve all aspects of our competition.”

Morocco RL president, Yamina Abdesselem, said: “We are delighted to playing once again in the MEA Championship. We have a lot of domestic presence including a club competition, World Cup promotion, school activity and an U19s international planned. Everything is geared towards strengthening our national team in a sustainable way and our preparations for this year’s MEA Cup will be much stronger as a result.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252

Men’s European Rugby League Championships expanded in 2020

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 29 January, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

MEN’S EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TO EXPAND IN 2020

The draw will take place in Serbia on Friday evening (7pm, CET 8pm) for the expanded men’s 2020 European Championships, which will feature four levels of competition for the first time.

In the senior Championship, holders France, Scotland, Ireland and Wales will be joined by Italy and, for the first time, Spain, with a final to be held – most likely in France, on 7 or 8th November – and relegation to European Championship B introduced.

The nations will be drawn into two groups of three, which will culminate with the group winners playing each other.

Dean Buchan, Spain RL’s CEO said: “It is genuinely exciting times for rugby league here. We have just seen the launch of our first professional club, the Valencian Hurricanes, have a new domestic league starting, and this international programme keeps that momentum growing. We proved in the recent World Cup qualifiers that we can compete and I believe that we will be capable of causing a major upset in the competition”.

FIRL vice president, Tiziano Franchini, added: “We are very proud to be involved in this prestigious and historic tournament. We will use it to prepare for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England and treat it with huge respect. We are delighted to be taking part”.

The draw, organised by the Red Star Sport Society Media Center, will be broadcast by CKM Red on the RLEF Facebook page, and be undertaken by the Serbian men’s and women’s national team captains, Stevan Stevanovic – a social media influencer with almost 100,000 Instagram followers – and Jelena Stojiljkovic.

Champions France and runners up Wales from the 2018 European Championship will be top seeds in pot 1 of the draw, Ireland and Scotland in pot 2, and Italy and Spain in pot 3.

For European Championship B, fixtures have already been agreed: 17/18 October – Serbia v Russia, 24/25 October – Greece v Serbia, 31st Oct/ 1st Nov – Russia v Greece.

Whilst in European C, there will be an open draw between Norway, Ukraine and Germany. In the inaugural European Championship D, an open draw will involve four nations: Netherlands, Czech Republic, debutants Turkey and Malta, with a final to be played in May/June 2022.

Rugby League European Federation general manager, Chris Thair, noted: “There is now a route for any nation to be crowned champions of Europe and this will no doubt raise the aspirations of all our 26 members based in Europe. The expansion of the Championships will expose more nations to a higher level of competition and accelerate their development.

“Commercially the format, including a Championship final, is more attractive to sponsors and broadcasters which should further improve the exposure and investment into international rugby league.”

The Men’s Rugby League European Championships is the highest tier of international competition in Europe and started in 1935, it currently takes place every two years.

EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP – 2020 Key Dates

17/18 October – Round 1

24/25 October – Round 2

31st Oct/ 1st Nov – Round 3

7th – 8th Nov – Final (Venue TBC)

There will also be a separate draw for the fixture format, with each nation playing a home and away game.

The two games over three weeks provides all nations with a blank weekend to arrange additional internationals should they wish to do so.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

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.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

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 UIT42524252