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Squads, fixtures for women's RLWC2026 European qualifiers

Published by IntRL
26 Mar 2024

The road to the 2026 Women’s Rugby League World Cup officially begins on April 13 when France host Greece in the opening European qualifier at the Stade Georges Dartiailh.

The Group B fixture is the first match with an impact on qualification for RLWC2026, which is set to be staged in the Southern Hemisphere.

The winner of Group B, which also includes Serbia, will join Australia, England, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in qualifying for the World Cup, which is the last time the men's, women's and wheelchair tournaments are played concurrently.

The winner of Group A, involving Ireland, Wales, Netherlands and Italy, will also qualify, with the runners-up in each group to meet for a place at the 2025 World Series and the opportunity to secure the final women's RLWC2026 berths.

WOMEN’S RLWC2026 – EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS

Preliminary Play-Off
Italy v Netherlands – Saturday 27 April - 1500 KO - Maurizio Quaggia Stadium, Mogliano Veneto, Treviso

Group A
Wales v Ireland – Saturday 27 April – 1445 KO – Cardiff University Sports Fields, Cardiff
Ireland v Winner of Italy v Netherlands – Sunday 19 May – 1500 KO – Morton Stadium, Dublin
Winner of Italy v Netherlands v Wales – Saturday 22nd June – KO TBC – Venue TBC

Group B
France v Greece – Saturday 13 April – 1600 KO – Stade Georges Dartiailh, Marmande
Greece v Serbia – Saturday 18 May – KO TBC - Nea Smyrni Stadium, Athens
Serbia v France – Saturday 22 June – 1700 KO - Stadium FC Srem Jakovo, Belgrade

France

The management of the XIII de France Féminin has announced a squad of 20 players to prepare for the match against Greece, on Saturday April 13, at the Georges-Dartiailh Stadium in Marmande.

The squad will assemble from the Thursday preceding the match in Temple-sur-Lot.

French coach and selector, Romain Maillot said: "We are getting to the heart of the matter with this first match counting for qualification for the 2026 World Cup.

"Victory is imperative against Greece and the players know it.

"It is once again a source of pride for the whole group to wear this tri-colour jersey and to represent our country, this time in Marmande; where we hope that the public will be there to give us all their support."


France celebrate a try during RLWC2021 (Getty Images)

France squad:

  1. BESSAHLI Leïla (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  2. BESSIERE Stecy (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  3. BIVILLE Lauréane (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  4. CANAL Margot (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  5. HIMOUDI Chahrazad (Toulouse Ovalie)
  6. KURESA Tallis (RC Bègles XIII)
  7. LECLERC Hélène (Toulouse Ovalie)
  8. LEGOUT Inès (AS Ayguesvives XIII)
  9. MENAA Sarah (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  10. NOE Pauline (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  11. APPLE TREE Mahault (AS Ayguesvives XIII)
  12. RAMAZEILLES Perle (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  13. RAMOS Fanny (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  14. ROSES Justine (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  15. SAMARRA Dorine (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  16. SAMARRA Manon (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  17. SEGALA Salomé (RC Lescure Arthès XIII)
  18. SONG PUCHE Cristina (Saint-Estève XIII Catalan)
  19. VILANOVE Amael (AS Ayguesvives XIII)
  20. ZAGHDOUDI Nabila (Toulouse Ovalie)

Greece

Greece have three players in line to make their debut, Kalliopi Louloudi and Sotiria Skouroliakou of Aris Eagles and Marianna Chali of Athens Raiders. All four Greek domestic clubs are represented in the 19-player squad.


Greece women after their 2023 triumph against Serbia

Greece's last outing was a 14-0 home loss to the Netherlands in December 2023, in a year which also saw them beat Serbia 8-4 in Belgrade.

“We've been building women's rugby league in Greece since 2018, played our first international match in 2019 and now we are playing World Cup Qualifiers which is a dream come true," Greece coach Jim Minadakis said.

"We know France will be our hardest opponent yet, but I believe we are up for the challenge. We have prepared well these past few months and I am extremely proud of the effort put in from our girls.”

Greek captain, Ourania Koutsikou, added: “I cannot really shape my excitement into words. One thing I’m sure is that my team will leave everything on the field and we’ll fight hard to show all of our effort over the last months.”

Wales

Wales Women’s head coach Tom Brindle has announced a 36-player train-on squad for the Women’s Rugby League World Cup qualifiers.


Wales women in action against Ireland

The Welsh open their campaign against Ireland at Cardiff University Sports Park on Saturday 27 April (kick-off 2.45pm).

They will then travel to face either Netherlands or Italy on Saturday 22 June in their final match of the three-team group where the winners qualify for the World Cup in 2026 and the runners-up go into a play-off.

There are 16 potential debutants, with Cardiff Demons’ Kim Boaler and Chelcey Greasley, along with Hannah Williams of Army RL, all being named in the 2023 squad with Boaler selected as 18th player in both of Wales’ games last year.

The 13 newcomers in 2024 come from a variety of clubs.

Seven of them are part of the 23 who have been named from the Demons – Lucia Davies, Bridget Jones and Sioned Young started playing with Cardiff last year, with four players, Tara Finnegan, Frances Layton, Lora Roberts and Megan Whittaker all in their first season, having all started in rugby union and playing for clubs at the highest level.

The remaining six all play in England. Chloë Allcorn of Bedford Tigers and Agnes Wood of Sheffield Eagles, have turned out for England Community Lions in the past. Sian McLaughlin plays rugby league for the Royal Navy and UK Armed Forces.

Leilah Mills played for Featherstone Rovers in 2021 and is currently playing rugby union for Lichfield. Jody-Lee Yandle who has been playing for Anglian Vipers RLFC was brought up in rugby union, representing Dragons u18 and Eastern Counties in the past.

Finally, Gracie Hobbs is another newcomer to Rugby League and is currently playing for Leeds Beckett University.

Brindle said: “I’m really excited by the squad we’ve managed to put together, which both continues to build on the last three years of work, with 13 new players coming into the squad, who come from the wider range of teams across Wales and England.

“We’ve had a good training programme so far and I’m looking forward to what will be a competitive Rugby League World Cup qualification campaign.”


Wales coach Tom Brindle addresses his players at a training session.

Wales squad:

Jody-Lee Yandle* (Anglian Vipers), Hannah Williams* (Army Rugby League), Chloë Allcorn* (Bedford Tigers), Lauren Aitken, Kim Boaler*, Leanne Burnell, Katie Carr, Lucia Davies*, Shaunni Davies, Tara Finnegan*, Jasmine Gibbons, Seren Gough-Walters, Chelcey Greasley*, Ffion Jenkins, Bridget Jones*, Ffion Jones, Hannah Jones, Sara Jones, Frances Layton*, Charlie Mundy, Rhi Parker, Amy Price, Brittony Price, Lora Roberts*, Megan Whittaker*, Sioned Young* (all Cardiff Demons), Ashlea Prescott (Featherstone Rovers), Gracie Hobbs* (Leeds Beckett University), Bethan Dainton (Leeds Rhinos), Leilah Mills* (Lichfield RU), Kathryn Salter (London Broncos), Sian McLaughlin* (Royal Navy), Rebecca Davies (Salford Red Devils), Agnes Wood* (Sheffield Eagles), Brogan Evans (Wigan Warriors), Georgia Taylor (York Valkyrie).

Unavailable due to injury: Lowri Norkett-Morgan, Amberley Ruck (both Cardiff Demons), Emily Hughes (London Broncos), Carys Marsh (Wigan Warriors).

Netherlands

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