Rugby League European Cup

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European Cup
Current season or competition:
2014 European Cup
Rugby League European Cup logo
Sport Rugby league football
Formerly known as European Championship
European Nations Cup
Inaugural season 1935
Region Europe (RLEF)
Holders  Scotland (1st Title)
Most titles England England (14 titles)
Website rlef.eu.com
Related competitions European Shield
European Bowl
Euro-Med Challenge
Nordic Cup

The European Cup (formerly known as the European Championship and European Nations Cup) is a rugby league football tournament for European nations that was first held in 1935, 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. The European Cup is contested biennially with four teams and the most recent was held in 2014.[1] It is run by the Rugby League European Federation.

History[edit]

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.

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.

Starting from 2010 the tournament will be used to choose the team that compete with Australia, New Zealand and England in the Four Nations.

Past tournaments[edit]

League Leaders (1935-1996)[edit]

Season Winner 2nd 3rd 4th
1935  England  France  Wales N/A
1935–36  Wales  England  France N/A
1936–37  Wales  England  France N/A
1938  Wales  England  France N/A
1938–39  France  Wales  England N/A
1945–46  England  France  Wales N/A
1946–47  England  Wales  France N/A
1947–48  England  France  Wales N/A
1948–49  France  England  Wales N/A
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 N/A
1969–70  England  France  Wales N/A
1975  England  Wales  France N/A
1977  France  Wales  England N/A
1978  England  Wales  France N/A
1979  England  France  Wales N/A
1980  England  France  Wales N/A
1981  France  England  Wales N/A
1995  Wales  England  France N/A
1996  England  Wales  France N/A

Final Games (2003-2009)[edit]

Year Final Information Stadium
Champions Score Runners-up
2003  England 68-6  France
2004  England 36-12  Ireland Halliwell Jones Stadium,  England
2005  France 38-16  Wales Stade Damec,  France
2009  Wales 28-16  Scotland Brewery Field,  Wales

League Leaders (2010-Onwards)[edit]

Season Winner 2nd 3rd 4th
2010  Wales*  France  Scotland  Ireland
2012 England England Knights  Ireland  Scotland N/A
2014  Scotland*  France  Ireland  Wales

Total wins[edit]

Winners Count Years
England England
Knights
15 titles 1935, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1947-48, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1969-70, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1996, 2003, 2004, 2012
France France 8 titles 1938-39, 1948-49, 1950-51, 1951-52, 1977, 1981, 2005
Wales Wales 6 titles 1935-36, 1936-37, 1938, 1995, 2009, 2010
 Other Nationalities 2 titles 1952-53, 1955-56
Scotland Scotland 1 title 2014

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]