Whilst the major domestic leagues around the world are heading for their dramatic climaxes, the international season began to take shape this past weekend with a rash of exciting games.
Greek Rugby League Association 🇬🇷 has continued its preparations for this year's Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers securing a strong 38 - 24 win over the Turkish Rugby League Association 🇹🇷 national team in Edrine, Turkey on Saturday. The event was a double-header with the women playing their first test match between the two nations and this ended in a victory for Turkey by 40 - 4.
Also in a women's international played in Belgrade, Serbia, the Canada Ravens 🇨🇦 defeated Serbia 🇷🇸 34 - 6. This fixture is a part of an historic tour to Serbia by the Canadian Rugby League. They have a party which includes the women and the Wolverines, the men's team and they defeated a South Serbia select XIII by 78 - 2.
Germany 🇩🇪 were hosts to the Netherlands 🇳🇱 in the annual Griffon Cup game. The Dutch squad extended their winning streak to three games in this fixture as they won by 56 - 18. The match was played in Gnarrenburg in Germany.
In Tirana, Albania, 🇦🇱 hosts welcomed a visit from Great Britain Pioneers 🇬🇧, a team of students who for the past 20 years have travelled to nations to support the growth of international rugby league. The result was 0 - 48 however compared to the impact and the support that this fixture offers, the result is unimportant.
Finally, and once again making their first steps in international rugby league, a Peru 🇵🇪 XIII played Uruguay 🇺🇾 in Sydney, Australia. Peru won and really close and tense encounter by 34 - 30 but the most important aspect of the event was the cultural exchange which is often so important for these communities. Both Peru and Uruguay are preparing applications to become members of the RLIF.
RLEF general manager Chris Thair said: “We’ve had internationals played in five countries this weekend which is testament to the willingness of non-professional players and the unstinting efforts of volunteers. We will see some huge internationals this October and November involving all of the RLEF members, the MEA Championships in Nigeria and the final stage of the European World Cup qualifiers.”
Thair added: “International rugby league is alive and well. The RLEF will soon announce our new strategy and whilst we recognise there is a lot of progress still to be made, we must take great pride by weekends such as this. More nations are playing international rugby league than ever before and this is significant for the sport, as one of the most powerful assets in our armoury is the international jersey.”
In the coming weeks, there are international events taking place on every continent and thousands of people will participate in international rugby league.