Draw made for women's European qualifiers for Rugby League World Cup 2026

The draw for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup 2026 European qualifiers has pitted Wales and Ireland together.

The nations were seeded using the December 2023 IRL World Rankings, and came out as follows:

Group A will feature Wales as the top seed and winners of Euro B North in 2022; Ireland; and either Italy/Netherlands – who will meet in a preliminary qualifying match in April.

Group B is made up of France as top seed; Greece who claimed Euro B South in 2022; and Serbia.

Italy recorded a 34-14 win over Serbia in June 2023, while Netherlands shocked Greece with a 14-0 victory on their debut in Athens late last year

The winners of each group will qualify for the 2026 Rugby League World Cup, the second placed nations will meet in a play-off game in October to determine which team represents Europe in 2025’s World Series for the final 2026 Rugby League World Cup berth.

The group stage fixtures over three dates will now be determined and released shortly.

The draw was made by David Butler, ERL general manager and Andrea Dobson, former England women’s international who appeared at four consecutive World Cups before her retirement in 2019.

“It’s amazing to see the growth of the international women’s game,” commented Dobson, who made 27 appearances for England and Great Britain. “To have so many nations aiming to qualify is very exciting and not something I could have imagined when I started playing. I’d like to wish all good luck for their fixtures and look forward to seeing who progresses.”