Today, the Netherlands Rugby League Bond are delighted to confirm and announce the international calendar for the 2022 Season, featuring a trio of matches. It will be the first set of matches under the tenure of new head coach, Dave Hunter.
Our first fixture will be against Euro A side Spain, on Saturday 17th September in Madrid. It will be the first meeting between the two nations, and looks set to be the biggest test the Lions have faced to date.
Espana Rugby League President, Tony Palacios commented; ” I think we have a great opportunity to show our level, against a great nation like the Netherlands, current European D Champions, played in Turkey last year. A young team but with very good players and very well structured, both physically and tactically. I was lucky enough to be in all those matches as a match official and I know very well, a very dynamic team that surprised me in many phases. I think they will be a very important rival to be able to see our reality and possibilities for the very near future.
Next up, we face off against Sweden, on Saturday 24th September at Zaandijk RC, Zaandam. It will be the third meeting between the sides, following 28-24 and 4-24 victories in Amsterdam (2017) and Gothenburg (2018), respectively.
Sweden Rugby League President, Sebastian Johnson-Cadwell: “We’re really excited to take on the Dutch boys again after the COVID break. They’re a great side and we’ll need to be at our best for this fixture. We play rugby for the challenge and are really looking forward to it. SRL are in talks with other nations for additional test matches this year – stay tuned for more”
Nederlandse Rugby League Bond Operations Manager, Matt Rigby added, “Following two successful matches in 2017 & 2018 against Sweden, we’re delighted to be hosting our Nordic friends again in 2022 at Zaandijk. The match will not only be a great chance for our new head coach to put new structures in place but also for us to provide support to Sweden as part of there recovery from the impact of the pandemic. It’s more important than ever that Europe are united, as we look to recover and advance the development of the sport on the mainland.”
Finally, we will take on our neighbours Germany, on Saturday 8th October in the 10th Annual Griffin Cup Match. The match will take place at the British School in the Netherlands (BSN), Voorschoten, with the NRLB aiming for a record crowd to turn out for this memorable occasion.
Speaking on the international schedule, Head Coach, Dave Hunter commented; “This years matches are extremely important to the development of Dutch Rugby League. The guys won Euro D last season and did a fantastic job, but this year we’ll go up against a Euro A team in Spain. It’s a great opportunity to test ourselves against a real quality side. It will give the coaching staff and playing group a chance to see where we need to be at to compete with the big boys. Sweden will be hungry to get their first win over us and we’ll be playing Germany in the annual Griffin Cup which is always a tough match.”
“This season will be about putting structures in place and developing combinations to ensure we are well placed to be as competitive as possible for Euro B in 2023. It may also be a chance to look at some younger players and guys who missed out on the Euro D comp. Hopefully we can create some real competition for spots and the guys will push each other to improve. Management have done an amazing job with organising such an impressive international schedule. “