EurFed RLEF - League Overseas - General

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The RLEF has issued the following short statement having been in direct contact with key personnel from the proposed ‘Euro XIIIs’ organising group earlier this week.

It states: “We held a positive meeting, enabling greater understanding of the respective plans and objectives for European club rugby league competition. Further dialogue will continue over the coming weeks. The RLEF will be making no further comment at this stage.”
 

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The Board of Nationaler Rugby League Deutschland e.v. has inaugurated a Hall of Fame on the occasion of the fifteenth anniversary of Germany’s first international rugby league encounter, a seven-a-side match with Holland in 2005.

“We have been thinking of starting a Hall of Fame for some time and decided that marking this occasion would be the right one”, said NRLD President Bob Doughton.

“There was no doubt who the first inductee should be; Simon Cooper, the man who started rugby league in Germany.”

Simon was inducted for his services to the sport, contributing massively both on and off the field for nearly 17 years. He started gathering players to participate back in 2003, played in 13 internationals and was joint coach for a further eight games before contracting cancer which has prevented him from further active participation.

Serving on the board, he was instrumental in the development of the BundesLeague, the German domestic league, and last year the NRLD Board started a new cup competition which was named the Cooper Cup in his honour.
 

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Serbia's rugby league clubs resumed training n May after a two month lay off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Their competitions were suspended in the middle of March, after completion of the opening rounds, but now local governments have loosened lockdown measures in the country and outdoor sports are among the first organized activities to get permission to go back to work.

The SRL will recommence in June with Serbian Cup ties; Car Dušan Silni Paraćin facing Red Star Belgrade, Beogradski ORK hosting Partizan, and Dorćol Tigers Belgrade versus Radnički New Belgrade.
 

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The RLEF board has announced the postponement of the 2020 Americas Championship, that was due to be played in November in Kingston Jamaica for the first time, also featuring USA, Canada and Chile.

The principal reason behind the decision is that the South American country has still not yet reached its Covid-19 infection peak and rates are still high in the USA and Canada, potentially putting players and staff at risk.

In addition, there is now insufficient time to prepare the nations properly with domestic competitions having been suspended because of coronavirus, and there has been a consequent impact on potential funding and sponsorship.
 

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The Association of Russian Rugby League Clubs board of directors has announced Alexander Kolikov as its new president.

Kolikov has been involved with the sport in the country since 1983, and as a highly regarded player and coach of Spartak Moscow brings a wealth of experience to his new role. He also has a track record in boxing and wrestling.
 

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Following a meeting of the Rugby League European Federation board, agreement has been reached on the status of the four-tier 2020 European Championships.

It has been confirmed that the men’s European Championship A, due to be played in October/November 2020 will be cancelled, whilst the men’s European B, C and D Championships, also due to be played in October 2020, have been postponed and are now rescheduled for 2021 - which will signify the start of the qualification process for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup.

Commenting on the outcome, chairman of the RLEF board, Maurice Watkins CBE noted: “It was an incredibly difficult decision, with every consideration taken into account and what we believe to be the right one regrettably made. The nations involved are at different stages regarding the scale and impact of the coronavirus pandemic, some have moved on considerably since the first consultation calls in April, whilst others have not responded at the same rate.

All nations may still seek to arrange bilateral matches against each other outside of a tournament format as an alternative in 2020. In 2022, the European Championship A competition will increase to a record eight nations with the projected inclusion of England and the top side from the men’s 2021 European Championship B, who will be promoted for the first time.
 

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Debut nations across the men’s, women’s and wheelchair variants of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, which will be held together for the first time in England next year, have expressed their enhanced excitement following yesterday’s fixture reveal.

Brazil’s women will open their competition against the hosts in a double header at Emerald Headingley Stadium, Leeds on November 9, team manager Rob Burgin
commenting: “The Amazonas are excited to give a strong account of themselves, for Latin America and on behalf of all developing nations. To have our nation of 210 million people facing hosts England in the women's World Cup opener was something we could only dream of a few short years ago. The squad is already training hard and determined to bring the most entertaining facets of rugby league to fresh eyes around the world.”

Norway make their wheelchair bow at London’s Copperbox Arena facing Spain two days later, and Norway RL president Karl-Fredrik Velle noted: “The schedule gives us enough rest between games to help us focus on developing the sport during the World Cup. Our team is motivated and ready for the big event. Right now we don’t know when we can have regular training again because of Covid-19 restrictions but this is a real boost for us to look forward to.”

In the men’s tournament, Greece face France in their opener in Doncaster on October 25, in a group with England and Samoa. Head coach Steve Georgallis confirmed: “We're extremely excited to be part of the Rugby League World Cup in 2021. Clearly the opening match is a history-making occasion for everyone involved with Rugby League in Greece and all those around the world who have supported us on this long journey.

There is similar anticipation in Jamaica, who become the first Caribbean nation to play in the finals series. They open against Ireland also in Leeds on October 25; New Zealand and Lebanon in their group. Head coach Romeo Monteith said: “We are very excited to open our World Cup campaign against Ireland. They are a solid team and we hope to be able to match them step-for-step and produce a spectacle for the fans. Facing New Zealand second will be a tough assignment but we will be ready to put our best foot forward. We have Lebanon last and we know they are a quality team. Like us, they are a developing nation in the sport and this bodes well for another fantastic fixture.”

The full draw can be found here - https://www.rlwc2021.com/schedule