Rugby League European Championship

  (Redirected from Rugby League European Cup)

The Rugby League European Championship (formerly known as the European Cup and European Nations Cup) is a rugby league football tournament for European national teams that was first held in 1935.

European Championship
Current season, competition or edition:
Current sports event 2020 Rugby League European Championship
SportRugby league
Founded1935; 86 years ago (1935)
No. of teams6
Country Europe
Most recent
champion(s)
 France
(9th title)
Most titles England
(14 titles)
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toEuropean Championship B
Official websiteEuropean Federation

Originally, the European Cup had three teams, with England, Wales and France each playing each other once. Unlike the Tri-Nations series, there was no final; the team finishing at the top of the group was deemed the winner. From 1949 to 1956, a fourth Other Nationalities team entered the European Cup.

From 2003 to 2009, the tournament featured six teams, including Ireland and Scotland. Between 2014 and 2018, the European Championship was contested with four teams.[1] From 2020, relegation was introduced for the first time.

HistoryEdit

1935-1996: Original CompetitionEdit

The tournament was initially played annually, with the exception of the years of the Second World War. In 1946–47, the tournament was altered, with each team playing each other twice, at home and away. The 1949–50 season saw a return to playing only once, but a new team, "Other Nationalities", was added. This team consisted of players who were not English, Welsh, or French playing in the British and French leagues: Australian, New Zealand, Scottish, Irish players, and others all played for this new side.

The 1955–56 tournament had no Welsh team, though Welsh players featured for Other Nationalities. The tournament was not played again until 1969–70. It was revived in 1975, with the three-team format of England, Wales and France playing each other team only once being made standard. The tournament was cancelled after 1981, but it was revived under the same format for 1995 and 1996.

2003-2009: Modern RevampEdit

The tournament was revamped for 2003, with Scotland, Ireland and Russia all joining. The new structure saw two groups of three, with the winner of each group meeting in a final. This structure was continued for the 2004 tournament. From 2004 Scotland, Ireland and Wales had to have at least four 'home grown' players from their domestic competitions (in the case of Wales this means Welsh clubs playing in the TotalRLConference) in their squad. Effectively this means that at least one home grown player is guaranteed a start.

The 2005 tournament did not include England as a participant; England will instead play matches against France and New Zealand, giving the European Nations Cup a more level playing field. Georgia won the first ever European Nations qualifying tournament in 2005, beating both Serbia and the Netherlands to win a spot in the tournament.

2010-2018: RecessionEdit

The 2010 and 2014 tournaments were used to choose the team that compete with Australia, New Zealand and England in the subsequent Four Nations.

Starting in 2018, the tournament is being used as a part of the qualification process for the Rugby League World Cup.

2020-present: RelegationEdit

The European Federation announced a big shake up of the European Championship in 2020 with promotion and relegation between all four European competitions. The 2020 European Championship consists of 6 teams with one team being relegated to European Championship B.

AppearancesEdit

Team Seasons in
European Championship
First season Last season Last title
  England 29 1935 2004 2004
  England Knights 1 2012 2012 2012
  France 31 1935 2018 2018
  Georgia 1 2005 2005 N/A
  Ireland 8 2003 2018 N/A
  Italy 1 2020
  Lebanon 1 2009 2009 N/A
Other Nationalities 6 1949–50 1955–56 1955-56
  Russia 3 2003 2005 N/A
  Scotland 8 2003 2018 2014
  Spain 1 2020
  Wales 31 1935 2018 2015

ResultsEdit

Season Final
Winner Score Runner-up Third place Fourth place
1935  
England
N/A  
France
 
Wales
-
1935–36  
Wales
 
England
 
France
-
1936–37  
Wales
 
England
 
France
-
1938  
Wales
 
England
 
France
-
1938–39  
France
 
Wales
 
England
-
1945–46  
England
 
France
 
Wales
-
1946–47  
England
 
Wales
 
France
-
1947–48  
England
 
France
 
Wales
-
1948–49  
France
 
England
 
Wales
-
1949–50  
England
Other Nationalities  
Wales
 
France
1950–51  
France
Other Nationalities  
England
 
Wales
1951–52  
France
 
England
Other Nationalities  
Wales
1952–53 Other Nationalities  
Wales
 
England
 
France
1953–54  
England
Other Nationalities  
France
 
Wales
1955–56 Other Nationalities  
France
 
England
-
1969–70  
England
 
France
 
Wales
-
1975  
England
 
Wales
 
France
-
1977  
France
 
Wales
 
England
-
1978  
England
 
Wales
 
France
-
1979  
England
 
France
 
Wales
-
1980  
England
 
France
 
Wales
-
1981  
France
 
England
 
Wales
-
1995  
Wales
 
England
 
France
-
1996  
England
 
Wales
 
France
-
2003  
England
68–6  
France
-
2004  
England
36–12  
Ireland
-
2005  
France
38–16  
Wales
-
2009  
Wales
28–16  
Scotland
-
2010  
Wales
N/A  
France
 
Scotland
 
Ireland
2012  
England
 
Ireland
 
Scotland
-
2014  
Scotland
 
France
 
Ireland
 
Wales
2015  
Wales
 
France
 
Ireland
 
Scotland
2018  
France
 
Wales
 
Ireland
 
Scotland
Season Final
Winner Score Runner-up Relegated
2020

Wins by teamEdit

Champions Count Years
  England 14 1935, 1945–46, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1949–50, 1953–54, 1969–70, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1996, 2003, 2004
  France 9 1938–39, 1948–49, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1977, 1981, 2005, 2011, 2018
  Wales 7 1935–36, 1936–37, 1938, 1995, 2009, 2010, 2015
Other Nationalities 2 1952–53, 1955–56
  England Knights 1 2012
  Scotland 1 2014

Overall performances by seasonEdit

This list contains the teams from all four divisions of the European Championships.

  •  1  – Champions
  •  2  – Runners-up
  •   – Promoted
  •   – No movement
  •   – Relegated
National team Season
2020 2022
LG P/NM/R LG P/NM/R
  Czech Republic D  
  France A  
  Germany C  
  Greece B  
  Ireland A  
  Italy A  
  Malta D  
  Netherlands D  
  Norway C  
  Russia B  
  Scotland A  
  Serbia B  
  Spain A  
  Turkey D  
  Ukraine C  
  Wales A  

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Alitalia extends Rugby League European Cup sponsorship Archived 17 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine rleague.com, 20 October 2011

External linksEdit