Parliament Celebrates International Rugby League
Members of Parliament are celebrating a compelling autumn of international rugby league. New Zealand are in the UK this month to play a three-match series against England, whilst the European Championship features Wales, Scotland, Ireland and France.
A motion has been tabled in the House of Commons, welcoming New Zealand to Britain. It wishes all involved well for the series, but “hopes that England can win and restore pride to English and northern hemisphere rugby.”
2015 treble winners Leeds Rhinos opened the series with a game against New Zealand at Headingley Stadium, whilst England warmed up with a victory against France. England were victorious 28-12 in the first of three matches against New Zealand at Hull FC’s KC Stadium, with the remaining fixtures on 7 November at the Olympic Stadium in London and 14 November at Wigan Warriors’ DW Stadium.
Tabling the motion, the Group’s Chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland’s said “after what was an incredible domestic season for rugby league in the UK, I and colleagues in Parliament can think of no better way to end the year with a series of tough international games.”
This was echoed by Makerfield’s MP Yvonne Fovargue who co-signed the Motion. She said “I am very much looking forward to the conclusion of the international series; particularly the third game in Wigan. It is fitting the Olympic Park is being used for the second England and New Zealand game and provides a great platform for international rugby league.”
A second motion recognises the European Championship, which has already seen two victories for Wales in the first rounds of fixtures. It celebrates efforts to strengthen the game across the UK.
The remaining fixtures on 7 November see Ireland and Wales meet in Bray, and France and Scotland in Avignon. Wales, Ireland and France are all still capable of winning the Championship.
Wrexham’s MP Ian Lucas tabled the motion, and commented “I’m delighted that the European Championship has returned once again this year. The tournament provides an excellent opportunity to build for the 2017 World Cup, and I am sure that the final fixtures will contribute to an exciting autumn of international rugby league.”
The full text of the motions:
EDM 644: England and New Zealand Rugby League International Series
That this House welcomes the rugby league international series between England and New Zealand, with three test matches on 1 November 2015 at Hull’s KC Stadium, on 7 November 2015 at London’s Olympic Stadium and on 14 November 2015 at Wigan’s DW Stadium; further welcomes the players and staff of the touring New Zealand Rugby League team, the number one ranked team in the world and current Four Nations Champions, to the UK for this three-match international series; notes that this will likely be the last international rugby league before the 2016 Four Nations involving England, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia; wishes all involved well in what will be an outstanding series of international rugby league; and wishes both teams good luck, but hopes that England can win and restore pride to English and northern hemisphere rugby.
EDM 636: Rugby League European Championship
That this House welcomes the European Championship of rugby league football between Scotland, Ireland, Wales and France; celebrates Wales’ victory against France on 30 October 2015 at Cardiff Arms Park; looks forward to the remaining fixtures between Ireland and Wales in Bray and France and Scotland in Avignon, both on 7 November 2015; further welcomes efforts to strengthen the game across the UK; and wishes all involved well for the forthcoming fixtures.