There is an interesting bit of information on the recently released French domestic schedule for 2016/17, with the weekend of 22-23 October being held free for "France/Anglaterre @ Avignon". https://twitter.com/FFRXIII/status/742660054327910400
This will be a week after Australia and New Zealand face each other in a warm up, leaving Scotland as the only nation going into the tournament cold.
Preparations for the England v New Zealand test series commenced in very different ways, with New Zealand facing a much tougher battle in their 34-12 victory over Leeds Rhinos than England had to in their 84-4 win over a weakened France team.
With France facing England, Wales played against Keighley Cougars in the Danny Jones Memorial match, with a 36-20 win, while the European Championships continued in their absence with Ireland just edging Scotland 24-22.
World Cup qualification began for the MEA region, with the first of 2 matches between South Africa and Lebanon taking place and seeing Lebanon win 40-12, leaving South Africa needing to win the return fixture next weekend by 29 points or more.
In site news, a few more match reports have been added and there is now a link to the full replay of the France v Ireland match on the main page
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
A Yorkshireman in the south of England who can't get enough of the world of rugby league