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.
The long wait is over and the fixtures for the 2016 Four Nations have been released. The tournament kicks off on the 28th October in Hull and finishes on the 20th November in Liverpool.
It's a little disappointing not to have a game in Scotland, but Workington became the home of Scotland in the last World Cup, so they should get a decent following there. The clash of the double header in Coventry with the RLWC qualification playoff in Leigh is disappointing on a personal note, but you can't have everything.
In other news, Cook Islands will be playing a game against Lebanon on the 8th May in Sydney, Australia.
All the fixtures are listed on the main page
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