European Campionships hopefuls get Four Nations carrot

France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will all be in action in the autumn for the first time since the 2013 World Cup

The winners of the 2014 European Championships will qualify for a place in the 2016 Four Nations Series, it has been confirmed.

France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will all be in action in the autumn for the first time since the 2013 World Cup, with the winners lining up alongside Australia, New Zealand and hosts England in the next Four Nations Series to be held in the northern hemisphere.

In the fixtures, which were unveiled on Friday, John Kear’s first match as the newly appointed Wales coach will be against Steve McCormack’s Scotland, who reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup, at Workington’s Derwent Park on 17 October.

A day later, Mark Aston’s Ireland will host Richard Agar’s France at Tallaght  Stadium, Dublin.

Scotland, who drew crowds in excess of 7,000 for their two World Cup group matches at Derwent Park, will also play in their own country, with the clash against France on 31 October taking place in Galashiels.

McCormack said: “Everyone involved in Scotland Rugby League is really pleased that arrangements for the European Championships are now in place, especially after hosting such a successful Commonwealth nines in Glasgow. It will be great to have international rugby league back on everyone’s agenda here in October.”

Ireland will return to Tallaght on Saturday, 25 October, to play Scotland before a trip to Wrexham to take on the Welsh on 2 November.

There will be no final, with the team finishing with most points taking their place in the Four Nations Series for which France and Wales have qualified in the past.

Brian Juliff, chairman of Wales RL, said: “A place in the Four Nations competition is welcome and very encouraging for the sport in Europe.”

PA

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