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  England (2012)
Most titles England (14 titles)
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 2012.[1] It is run by the Rugby League European Federation.


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]

Season Winner Competitors
1935  England  France  England  Wales
1935–36  Wales  France  England  Wales
1936–37  Wales  France  England  Wales
1938  Wales  France  England  Wales
1938–39  France  France  England  Wales
1945–46  England  France  England  Wales
1946–47  England  France  England  Wales
1947–48  England  France  England  Wales
1948–49  France  France  England  Wales
1949–50  England  France  England  Wales  Other Nationalities
1950–51  France  France  England  Wales  Other Nationalities
1951–52  France  France  England  Wales  Other Nationalities
1952–53  Other Nationalities  France  England  Wales  Other Nationalities
1953–54  England  France  England  Wales  Other Nationalities
1955–56  Other Nationalities  France  England  Other Nationalities
1969–70  England  France  England  Wales
1975  England  France  England  Wales
1977  France  France  England  Wales
1978  England  France  England  Wales
1979  England  France  England  Wales
1980  England  France  England  Wales
1981  France  France  England  Wales
1995  Wales  France  England  Wales
1996  England  France  England  Wales
2003  England  France  England  Wales  Scotland Ireland  Russia
2004  England  France  England  Wales  Scotland Ireland  Russia
2005  France  France  Georgia  Wales  Scotland Ireland  Russia
2009  Wales  Serbia  Lebanon  Wales  Scotland  Ireland  Italy
2010  Wales*  France  Wales  Scotland  Ireland
2012 England England Knights  Scotland  Ireland England England Knights
2014  Scotland  Ireland  France  Wales

Total wins[edit]

Winners Count Years
England England 14 titles 1935, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1947-48, 1949-50, 1953-54, 1969-70, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1996, 2003, 2004
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
England England Knights 1 title 2012

See also[edit]


External links[edit]