Written by Callum Walker
Over the years International Rugby League has been criticized for its lack of adequate planning and development with regards to its competitive fixtures. In 2020 tho, that was not the case with fixtures and competitions taking place galore. In terms of International Rugby League, 2020 was going to be a huge year, and, perhaps the later fixtures could still be fulfilled if the current coronavirus pandemic exits the world within the coming months.
Amongst those fixtures arranged were Brasil and Chile in May, the Ashes between England and Australia to be held in October and November. The European Championships would be held in the same months, whilst the Americas Championship Finals between Jamaica, Chile, USA and Canada are scheduled for November.
International Rugby League was not just planned to be a transatlantic affair at the turn of the decade either, it was going to be a world one. The Middle East Africa Championships are pencilled in for October with the first round of the Oceania Cup initially meant to take place in June with the finals also in October. Of course, those June fixtures look to be impossible to fulfil at present, but the upcoming months was supposed to be a feast of international Rugby League.
With all the vitriol aimed at the International Rugby League body (previously the Rugby League International Federation – RLIF) in recent years, a full world fixture list is something that should be heralded.
Perhaps the only logical solution with the world struggling to get back on its feet would be to postpone all the international fixtures for 2020. However, that would interfere with the 2021 World Cup – the pinnacle of the sport’s greatness. As it stands, the ideal preparation for next summer’s World Cup may not be achieved, but at least, for once, the governing body cannot be blamed.
Whether or not the fixtures planned for 2020 go ahead or not, it is incredibly encouraging to finally see a governing body getting its act together.