Rugby League Ireland Women will compete in Group B of the European Qualifiers, with a spot at the Rugby League World Cup 2025, held in France, up for grabs.
Following the draw, Ireland have been placed in Group B and will compete against Italy, Malta and Serbia in the knock-out stages. The eight nations will meet in two groups of four with the top two in each progressing in a straight shoot out, and joining England and France as automatic qualifiers to complete Europe’s six berths.
The scheduled dates are as follows:
30th September 2023 – Wales v Netherlands
28th October 2023 – Greece v Wales
4th November 2023 – Greece v Turkey
11th May 2024 – Netherlands v Greece
11th May 2024 – Turkey v Wales
18th May 2024 – Turkey v Netherlands
2nd September 2023 – Italy v Malta
28th October 2023 – Serbia v Ireland
11th May 2024 – Malta v Serbia
11th May 2024 – Ireland v Italy
18th May 2024 – Malta v Ireland
25th May 2024 – Italy v Serbia
A further announcement confirming the exact day of the weekend, kick off time, and venue for each match will follow in due course. Fans should not book travel until that information has been advised.
Two female match officials are looking to be involved in the fixtures, Lucie Peyre from France and Ireland’s Fiona McConn.
On the draw, Women’s Head Coach, John Whalley said: “Going into year three will certainly be the toughest year yet, but on the flip side a very exciting year with the start of our first ever World Cup qualifiers.
“We have the chance to make history, qualifying for the World Cup in 2025 was the number one goal when we started the Women’s team. We have three games to put our best foot forward towards that goal starting with Serbia in October.”
He added: “To play Serbia in their own back yard will be a great test for us, we welcome Italy to Ireland having recently played them – we expect a tough challenge and Malta will certainly challenge us but it’s the challenges we are really looking forward to. We will need to be at our best to ensure we make the World Cup in France 2025.”