Date: 25/5/16

The third round of the Pool A European qualifiers for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup will kick off in one of Italy’s great sporting cities, Monza, nine miles north-east of Milan in the Lombardy region.

The Federazione Italiana Rugby League has partnered with the city, home of Formula 1 Grand Prix, to host their match against Wales in the 18,000-capacity Stadio Brianteo.

Monza’s mayor, The Honourable Roberto Scanagatti, and city sport minister Mr Silvano Appiani have agreed to promote the prestigious match during the Grand Prix and in conjunction with FIRL, whose president, Orazio d’Arro, said: “The Federazione Italiana Rugby League is extremely happy to play in Monza. It is one of the major sporting cities in Italy and we are delighted to cooperate with the Monza public administration for the legacy of our sport.”

The Comune di Monza’s tourism department will announce a package for visiting fans for what promises to be a significant celebration. “It will be a real Italian rugby league day,” continued d’Arro, “All levels of our national team will play and support the senior team to get into the Rugby League World Cup again. Italy ‘A’ against Belgium will be the curtain-raiser match.”

Wales head coach John Kear commented: “Italy beat Wales in the opening fixture of the 2013 World Cup and they will no doubt be putting out a strong team once again in order to appear at the next tournament. It should be fantastic occasion and we congratulate FIRL for organising such a great venue and city for such an important game. Everyone is looking forward to it and with so much at stake, it should be a classic.”

World Cup Qualifier, Europe Pool A – Italy v Wales – 29 October, 3.30pm, Stadio Brianteo, Monza