Spain ready to build to new levels

Spain coach Darren Fisher is proud of the effort made by his players in their recent World Cup qualifiers against Ireland and Russia.

Although the Spaniards lost both games, Fisher believes that the experience will stand his players in good stead for the future.

“It was two tough games back-to-back, something we’ve not done before and it’s been a good taste of rugby league at this level,” he said.

“It was tough for the boys but we’ve put some standards in and that’s a massive credit to them, especially up against full-timers.

“In three years to be here is a real bonus for everyone involved in the sport in Spain and exposure at this level is massive; this is where we need to be competing, we can’t now take a backward step, our 40-man squad now know what it’s about.”

Spain are now looking to build on the first three years of their existence, with competing in European Championship B now a priority.

“We’re looking to go from strength to strength,” Fisher added.

“Playing for the first time in European Championship B will be our focus next year and we’ll add a couple of friendlies because our leagues need to grow even stronger.

“We are already up to 24 teams, we’re bringing on juniors and women and looking at expanding into national U23s to give more players the chance to wear the Spanish shirt.

“We are also working on using our U19s to play in double-headers to the full national side.

“I’ve already been in touch with Belgium and Malta about that because they loved coming here and we want to repay them.”

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