Discussion in 'World Cup 2017' started by Foreign Legion, Apr 11, 2018.
The town of Vrchlabi will host the preliminary stage of the European qualifying route to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England, when the Czech Republic host Norway on 16th June.
It will be the opening fixture in Euro C which will comprise six nations split north and south. Germany are the other nation in the north group; Greece, Malta and Ukraine in the south. The respective group winners will face an elimination game at a neutral venue for promotion to Euro B and a place in the next stage of World Cup qualification, which will take place in autumn 2019.
Euro B will be played in October 2018 between Russia, Spain and Serbia, with the top two advancing to the 2019 qualification tournament and the bottom nation relegated to Euro C.
RLIF Chief Executive Officer David Collier said: “Integrating competitions with the European World Cup qualifiers provides added meaning to the games, which is one of the international federation’s key objectives. “The increasing number of member nations vying for a World Cup berth is further evidence of the growth of the sport, while the launch of preliminary qualification comes a year earlier than for the 2017WC, which is another sign that significant tournaments are being strategically positioned in the RLIF calendar.”
Further details of the next stage of European qualifying will be announced shortly, Netherlands and Latvia opted not to enter the process.
European Championship B & C Fixtures
European Championship B: Spain v Russia (Valencia, 6 October); Russia v Serbia (Moscow, 13 October); Serbia v Spain (Belgrade, 20 October)
European Championship C - North: Czech Republic v Norway (Vrchlabi, 16 June); Germany v Czech Republic (Osnabrück, 25 August); Norway v Germany (Porsgrunn, 15 September)
European Championship C - South: Malta v Ukraine (Marsa, 30 June); Ukraine v Greece (Kharkov, 8 September); Greece v Malta (Athens, 15 September)
Good on them for getting a structure in place for the qualifiers.
It seems pretty bloody strange if they have a tiered structure that a team from Group C can leap frog the teams in Group B for a spot in the final qualifiers? Surely it would make sense for the winner of Group C to be promoted to Group B and then the top 3 from that group go to the finals.
But hey, when has Rugby League ever done it the easy way
How is that any different though from the bottom team from Group B being relegated and top of Group C being promoted?
I considered a similar system but I think the relatively small amount of teams (and most of those teams and the RLIF having a very limited budget) has resulted in going with the 'lean' option.
Much of a muchness in the end.. 6 are qualifying from the final 8, pretty easy tournament for the top teams there.
The circumstances around these qualifiers: barely any Euro teams auto qualifying making a high number of qualifiers, and a relatively low number of total teams (compared to other sports) makes it difficult to actually come up with an interesting, high stakes system.
I can see Norway or Germany winning the northern group.
The southern group is a bit harder to predict. Ukraine have been pretty steady over the years. Greece's last result was a 50-8 loss to Serbia in October. Malta are the hardest of all to gauge as they haven't played a proper match (majority domestic players) since 2015, in their 40-30 loss to Spain. So this group will be the most interesting IMO.
I thought France had to qualify... like to see Ukraine,Serbia and Russia qualify
France DO have to qualify. Look at the chart again. After the group C and B matches are over, we will be left with a Final 8, from which only 6 will qualify. The exact format is unknown, but I'm guessing the 8 will be put into two groups of 4, from which the top 3 of each group will qualify, something like that.
Sorry... long day
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