To coincide with international women’s day, the fixture dates have been announced for the inaugural European Women’s World Cup Qualifying competition for France in 2025. 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.
“Last year I should have come to referee a women’s Euro B game but my university commitments prevented me,” said Peyre. “I would like to do a women’s game for the 2025 RLWC because for France it’s a big opportunity. It’s very important to see the women’s game growing in Europe at all levels. I didn’t referee at school but both my brothers are involved in the sport and they supported me. I would encourage any woman to have a go.”
McConn took charge of Wales and Italy in women’s Euro B last year. “The game at Crosskeys was my first international appointment,” she said. “It was a great experience, both in terms of refereeing a game at that level and together with match officials from different nations. It is so important to continue developing the domestic game, both in Ireland and across European countries. Taking up refereeing rugby league was one of the best decisions I have made. There is a clear pathway for progression if that is something you are interested in but what I enjoy is the match official family that I'm now a part of.”
Photo: Ian Lovell