Lots of fixtures announced for Canada yesterday, some which were already known about and some which are brand new announcements.
July 16th (Jamaica), September 24th (USA), October 1st (USA) were all talked about in an update from last week
October 15th (South Wales Scorpions) has been mooted for a little while, and it's good to see the date being confirmed.
Canada will host the England Young Lions on September 3rd, a fortnight after hosting the England Lionhearts in Toronto on the same day as they face Fiji in Hawai'i! The Canadians will split into 2 teams on August 20th with the Eastern based players facing England Lionhearts and the Western based players facing Fiji in a fully sanctioned test match.
This match against Canada will be taking place before the Samoa v Tonga match at the same venue.
There are a few 3 team tournaments going on this year, and while not all the details have been confirmed yet there are a couple so far that have been locked in.
Starting in North America, it has been announced that Canada, Jamaica and USA will compete over 3 matches matches in the Americas Cup, with Jamaica kicking off the series against Canada in July and then playing the USA the following week (both games in the US), with Canada hosting the USA in September in a match that doubles as the closing game of the series and the opening game of the Colonial Cup (the return leg of which will be played the following week)
Back in Europe Belgium, Germany and Netherlands have announced a new series to be played throughout August and September, with the Griffon Cup also being contested during the Netherlands/Germany fixture.
The Nordic Cup will continue for Denmark, Norway and Sweden, with Sweden still to confirm their home fixture.
European Championship C will also be going ahead this year, to be contested between Czech Republic, Ukraine and an as yet unconfirmed nation.
The Philippines have just defeated Serbia 18-12 in Cabramatta, Australia after leading at half time in the first meeting between the two nations.
Canada will face the USA home and away over 2 legs for the Colonial Cup (with dates still TBC) and will take on South Wales Scorpions U20s at the start of October. There is also something special planned for 23rd July, which will be announced in the near future
It's been a very busy weekend for international fixtures, with 7 fixtures being played as well as the Latin 7s (which I'll discuss in a later post)
It started off on Thursday (stretching the definition of weekend slightly) with Thailand seeing off Japan 30-6 bringing the Asian Cup to one win apiece, but Japan winning on aggregate 58-46
Friday saw the European Championship A tournament kick off with Wales coming out 18-12 winners over Scotland, but France's 31-14 victory over Ireland the following day sees France move to the top of the group.
Elsewhere in Europe, Norway came back with a vengeance in the last 20 minutes of their Nordic Cup game against Sweden, losing 10-20 but scoring 4 tries at the end to run out 30-20 victors putting them second behind Denmark in the Cup.
Tonga will start their preparations next year for the 2017 World Cup after defeating Cook Islands 28-8, and Spain will progress to the next phase of World Cup qualification, with 2 victories in European Championship C after running riot of Greece, coming out 76-4 victors.
Canada take an 8 point lead into today's Colonial Cup match against the USA, and a win for either team will put them in good stead for World Cup qualification this December
Apologies for not being the quickest with the updates recently, but I'm up to date on all the results now (and even have tomorrow's result listed!
There have been wins for Russia and Serbia against Italy and Ukraine respectively in European Championship B, while Spain managed to defeat Malta 40-30 in European Championship C. Greece's inability to travel tomorrow has granted Malta a 30-0 win, meaning that Spain will need to defeat Greece next weekend to earn a place in next year's RLWC qualifiers
There have been a fair few upsets with Canada defeating USA 36-28 in the first leg of the Colonial Cup, while Niue beat Cook Islands and Czech Republic recorded their second ever win, overturning Belgium 14-4. In the unofficial (non-test) matches, Spain beat Italy B and Papua New Guinea fell to Australia's PMXIII.
I now have listed match reports for most of the matches, and there are full replays of USA v Canada and Northern Ireland v Republic of Ireland (thanks to Steve from NIRL for the latter)
There's nothing like a last minute change of date and venue for a match, but the Colonial Cup fixtures between USA and Canada have been changed, with them both being moved a day later to the Sundays (20/09 and 18/10). The venue for both has been set as the AA Garthwaite Stadium in Conshohocken, PA (the September match originally scheduled to be played in Toronto.
This leaves Canada without a home international this year (barring the England Lionhearts visit), which is a shame considering the attendances that they have been attracting.
Thailand v Japan in Bangkok has also been rescheduled, moving from the 17th to the 15th of October.
And congratulations to Ireland after their 34-22 win over Malta, which now means that not only are they the country playing the most fixtures this year, they also have won every game in the build up to the European Championships in October.
The 2017 RL World Cup qualifying tournament for North America has been scheduled to take part in Florida in early December this year. Two matches will be played at the University of North Florida, and another at the Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.
Fixtures and kickoff times have been listed on the main page
A Yorkshireman in the south of England who can't get enough of the world of rugby league