After an exciting 2018 calendar, the northern hemisphere is severely lacking this year. Obviously some exceptions, but overall the calendar is barren. What IS happening (and the missing pieces): Great Britain tour - some quality matches but none at home for England, Wales or Ireland. Euro Qualifiers - Scotland and Ireland participating with Italy, Russia, Greece, Spain. Just 2 games will decide their fate - and none of them have scheduled in a single warm-up game, except Ireland Club XIII back in April. How much do they want it? Turkey v Greece - A good warm-up in September before the qualifiers. Greece showing more initiative than their supposedly more professional European neighbours... despite them being effectively banned from playing the sport. Jamaica v USA - The 2nd test in Jamaica is good news, but I can't see anything North American in the back half of the year. Late planning maybe? African Championships - This is awesome tbh Lebanon v Fiji - Lebanon playing Fiji is good but imploding off the field is bad Nation by nation: England - after some quality performances over NZ and the Knights development squad touring PNG, they've backed it up in 2019 with.... nothing. Goodbye momentum. Wales - The excitement of qualifying for another World Cup has resulted in a massive calendar of zero games in 2019. That'll bring the fans back. Ireland - Scotland - In separate groups for the Qualifiers, which makes a warm up game against each other a great idea. Naturally, there's not been the slightest hint of this happening. France - At least the UK teams have the Qualifiers and GB tour. France has lined up a massive series vs nobody for the October-November international period. Fascinating stuff. Italy - Spain - Russia - Greece - Please schedule a warm up game or two? Czechia - Malta - Germany - Netherlands - Norway - Serbia - Ukraine - The disappointment of missing World Cup qualification has driven these nations to up their game by not playing it this year. Bold move, lets see if it pays off. USA - Jamaica - playing each other once. Canada - Maybe next year? Lebanon - imploding --- Maybe I'm being harsh here, but with the Pacific nations pushing forward rapidly its imperative that nations like Wales and France get a team on the park every year. A 4 Nations with England Knights, France, Wales and Jamaica is so obvious that it pains me to not see it. Ditto for warm-up games for the qualifiers. Maybe there will be a late rush but it seems unlikely. It's good that there are regular tournaments coming from next year, but the lack of initiative in between is hugely concerning.