Date: 1/3/15

The Belgian and Czech Rugby League Associations have announced a two-match Test series. Belgium will host the Czech Republic in Brussels on 18 April and then visit Tis, 100km south east of Prague, on 3 October.

Czech head coach David Lahr, who will field players exclusively from the domestic competition, said, “It will be a great opportunity to test the progress of our league, the standard of its games and the players.”

The matches will mark the first time the two nations have played one another. For the Czech Republic, it is the beginning of a re-building process since they began in 2007. An ever-present in the Euro Bowl and its successor, European Championship C, they were relegated in 2014 as part of the RLEF’s new competition structure.

“We are all really looking forward to Tests,” said Belgium head coach Tony Benson. “I’ve watched plenty of footage of their domestic competition and they look very strong.

“I am in no doubt of the task we have ahead of us but with the hard work going in to our elite development programme, I’m confident both games are going to be absolute crackers. The first match will set down the marker with six months to the second Test allowing for plenty of hard work together to get to our best.”

The Czech Republic are ranked 29th in the world, their last win against Germany. Belgium has made great strides since playing their first match in 2013, having beaten the Netherlands twice and lost to Spain twice in its four official international matches, to be in 21st position.