RLEF announce Autumn Internationals
The Rugby League European Federation has announced that France, Scotland and Ireland will face each other in a round robin international series over the autumn.
Each nation will host a match and with the Celtic nations having recently been accorded full member status by the Rugby League International Federation, they will be classed as the first Test matches between them.
French coach Bobbie Goulding - whose side were knocked out by Wales in the final match of last season’s 2010 European Cup, which saw the Dragons replace them in the Gillette Four Nations series - is looking forward to re-building the Tricolours in these clashes.
“We’re in it to win it, simple as that,” he said. “There comes a time when you’ve got to stop making excuses and we’ve got to win these Tests; we’ve got to go out there and perform and be successful in both those games.”
Scottish supremo Steve McCormack is equally relishing the task. “We’re looking at these fixtures as really important parts of our build up to 2012 Alitalia European Cup and of course the 2013 Rugby League Wold Cup.”
He added, “Since 2008 we’ve been steadily improving as a group and this year we’ll be looking at introducing some good young players.”
For the man in charge of Ireland, Mark Aston, it will mean his debut in the international arena. “I see the role as a great challenge which really excites me and I’m looking forward to getting the best out of the players I’ll be working with,” he commented.
“It’s important that we get a squad of players together that want to be part of Ireland Rugby League and we will work on team spirit and togetherness as we work towards the World Cup.”
Fixtures will be staged in Glasgow, Perpignan and Limerick with Scotland taking on Ireland in the opening match at Scotstoun on Sunday October 16.
France host Scotland two weeks later at Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan before the final game at Thomond Park in Munster the following Friday – the first time rugby league will be played in that venue.
Danny Kazandjian, RLEF General Manager, said: “I have no doubt that all three nations will be keen to get back onto the field after last season’s exciting Alitalia European Cup.”
This international series is part of European rugby league’s increasingly significant representative calendar, and plays an important part of each nation’s preparation for what lies ahead.”
RLEF AUTUMN INTERNATIONAL SERIES
Scotland v Ireland – Sunday October 16 – Scotstoun, Glasgow (2pm)
France v Scotland – Saturday October 29 – Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan (3pm)
Ireland v France – Friday November 4 – Thomond Park, Limerick (8pm)