With preparations well underway for the 2018 U19s European Championships in Belgrade in August, the RLEF has confirmed that four nations are preparing bids to host the 2020 tournament.
The selected country will be announced following a six-month tender process and evaluation period and the Federation has also confirmed the bidding schedule for the 2022 and 2024 competitions. RLEF general manager Danny Kazandjian said: “We are pleased with the progress the revised U19 European Championship is making. The process has been consultative from the beginning and all understand the importance of a structured youth programme and advanced planning. The four nations who are bidding to host the competition offer a really exciting prospect, with the whole of the continent covered which gives an extra dimension, the games being held alongside the RLEF congress”
The tender process for the 2022 competition will open this September, with bid documents lodged in April 2019 and a preferred host selected the following month. That sequence will begin again in 2020 for the 2024 Championship, whose host will be selected in May 2021.
The deadline for nominating match officials for the 2018 tournament has now closed, with a total of 20 nominees from 12 countries received, member nations limited to nominating a maximum of two.
Danny Kazandjian continued: “The tournament is poised to see the widest range of nations ever officiating an international rugby league tournament, demonstrating the progress we are making in systematically educating, mentoring, evaluating and improving referees in Europe. The majority of nominees are from non-traditional rugby league nations who have been on the RLEF development system, which was launched in 2016.”
Following the tournament, the best performers will be placed on the next stage of their performance pathway, with potential inclusion in the 2021 World Cup match officials squad.