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Saturday, 9 August 2014

RLIF Announce Latest World Rankings

After a summer of RL activity, the new world rankings have been announced by the RLIF. They are the first since the 2013 World Cup.
The number of ranked-nations has risen to 34 including  new entrants Spain in 28th place.  Russia are up to 14th -the number of nations that will contest the 2017 World Cup. The biggest movers are Greece who rise to 26th

CLICK HERE for more info

Thursday, 7 August 2014

France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will meet in the autumn as the fixtures were confirmed for the 2014 European Championships. The winners will qualify for the 2016 Four Nations tournament to be held in the northern hemisphere.


17/10/14  Scotland v Wales   Workington     
18/10/14  Ireland v France      Dublin 

25/10/14  Ireland v Scotland   Dublin   

25/10/14  France v Wales      Albi

31/10/14  Scotland v France  Galashiels   

2/11/14    Wales v Ireland      Wrexham

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

2017 World Cup Qualifiers Announced

Seven automatic qualifiers for the 2017 World Cup have been announced. They are:- 

Australia, New Zealand, England, Fiji, France, Samoa and Scotland  

The seven nations all reached the quarter finals of the 2013 tournament. The next World Cup will be held in Australia and NZ and will involve 14 teams.

The remaining seven participating nations will be selected from four regions; three from Europe, two from Asia Pacific, one from the Americas and another from MEA. The four regions will reveal their qualification programmes by October 2014 and the process will be open to Affiliate Member nations who gain Full status before then

USA were the only 2013 quarter finalist excluded but they do not have full member status

A decision has obviously been made to increase the geograpical spread of the tournament at the expense of the Pacific nations leaving the Cook I as a potential loser. The opportunity to include a Middle East or African nation e.g. Lebanon is very exciting and cannot be missed 

It throws up some interesting clashes with a big prize at stake. We can all look forward to potential sudden death matches like USA v Canada, Italy v Russia, Lebanon v SA and PNG/Tonga v Cook I.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Koukash plans Dubai Nines

As part of his plans to make RL a global sport, Salford owner Dr Marwan Koukash is planning a Nines tournament to be held in Dubai. It would augment the Auckland Nines and would involve both SL and NRL clubs

CLICK HERE for more details

In 2011, I wrote about nines on this blog 

"It is a good showcase for our game, an excellent way of introducing newcomers and great way of spreading the word"

CLICK HERE to see the original post

I really like Dr Koukash, he's obviously very enthusiastic, is brilliant at generating publicity, he wears his heart on his sleeve and is a breath of fresh air to our sport. Dr Koukash is a very bright bloke and has been very successful in his business careeer. He's a doer rather than a watcher and we need more people like him in our sport. OK, maybe some his proclamations have been naive and possibly unwise but most aren't serious and should be taken with a pinch of salt. I wish him every success

Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Step in the Right Direction

Regardless of your your views on the situation, some good news emerged recently from the middle east

A team of Rugby League players and administrators are working together and hope to join the RLEF with regard to playing international matches in 2015. They will join the Middle East and Africa (MEA) section of the RLEF whose membership is growing as RL becomes increasingly popular in these areas.

It might not happen because, as far as I'm aware, Palestine isn't officially a country and some dirty deals get done but we can only hope.

The situation in the middle east is usually portrayed as big bully Israel acting as the aggressor against its poor defenceless neighbours. In reality, Israel is massively overwhelmed in terms of population, resources and land by surrounding countries and does well to survive. As in Northern Ireland, the turmoil is continually prolonged so that others can take advantage at their will. Some strong leadership would help

I personally doubt a settlement will ever be reached because leaders on either side would find it difficult to sell any final border solution to their electorate. Maybe a Mandela type character will emerge to forgive first so others can follow but unfortunately these "take the sins of the world" characters are very few and far between. The two sides might not like each but surely the majority are sick of the violence. They can take a few small steps together, call it progress and each day/month/year that passes will reduce suspicion. Setbacks will occur, as in Northern Ireland, but trust will grow and prosperity will surely follow

We take sport for granted and this is normality but if this happens in the middle east it is positive news and a step in the right direction. They all deserve our support

Follow them on Twitter @PalestineRL

They are on facebook too

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Canada defeat Jamaica in Toronto

Canada defeated Jamaica 24-20 in rainy condition in Toronto in front of a 3000 crowd. 
It was a winning start in his first game in charge for Canada head coach, the former Leigh, Halifax, Huddersfield and Castleford stand-off Stuart Donlan 
CLICK HERE for more info

USA defeat Samoa in Hawaii

The US Tomahawks played their first match since the 2013 World Cup and gained an 18-12 win over a Samoa Residents team in Hawaii.
CLICK HERE for more info

Friday, 18 July 2014

Pacific Boost as a Fiji XIII joins the NSW Cup

A Fiji based XIII, led by Petro Civoniceva will join the NSW Cup in 2016 and he believes the project could eventually lead to a Fiji based NRL This is a big boost to RL in the Pacific region and they support the PNG Hunters who recently joined the Queensland Cup

CLICK HERE for more info

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Wales appoint John Kear as National Coach

Wales RL have announced that current Batley and former England and France coach will take charge of their national team. Wales are scheduled to meet France, Scotland and Ireland in a European Championship competition this autumen.
CLICK HERE to read more

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

RL takes off in Mexico

RL seems to be expanding in South America with welcome news about Mexican RL. Formed 6 months ago, it is has about 80 registered players and is planning 9s competition in Mexico City on 9/8/14. They hope to play international matches soon and likely opponents include Jamaica, USA and Canada
CLICK HERE to read more