European Rugby League chair reacts to international calendar announcement

Following International Rugby League’s latest update, the chair of European Rugby League (ERL), Dean Andrew, has welcomed the progress made at their recent board meeting in Singapore.

“It is great to have a long-term international calendar in place until 2030 initially,” he said. “It reignites Northern and Southern Hemisphere rivalries that have been dormant for too long.”

Andrew also underlined the importance of IRL board support for regular ERL-run competition as a result. “The European Championship is rugby league’s oldest international competition. The pandemic curtailed fixtures and hit our funding streams. Add to that the cancellation of RLWC2025 qualification matches with its postponement, and it is easy to understand why not a lot of international rugby has been played in Europe, Middle East Africa and the Americas in the last three years.”

He added: “However, that is behind us now and, with IRL support, we look forward to leading workshops to identify the most sustainable and profitable tournaments to generate exciting matches. If those competitions culminate in regular, meaningful fixtures, we will increase both participation and playing standards across the continents and subsequently around the globe.”