Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have today announced the dates ahead of their upcoming triangular series.
Germany will take on Belgium in Dusseldorf on 6 August before travelling to Rotterdam a week later for the Griffin Cup. Netherlands will then finish the series off on 3 September when they take on Belgium in Brussels.
Germany head coach Simon Cooper, who led his side to two victories over Spain and Holland last year, is looking forward to the series and admits his honour at being able to continue his role with the country.
“It’s an honour to be coaching Germany again this year,” he said.
“It would be very easy for us to put a strong heritage team out, using the likes of Super League regular Jimmy Keinhorst of Leeds Rhinos and others within the professional game but we do not feel that is the right way to go. With Kristian Keinhorst’s retirement, Mawuli Amefia will take over the role of captain this year.”
Netherlands Rugby League Director of Development, Jason Bruygoms, has also spoke about his excitement for the series, and points to his countries development in youth players as to a reason why.
“We are looking forward to our annual fixtures against our neighbours,” he said.
“With the growth of our domestic competition and new clubs being formed, we hope this will reflect in the national squad. This will be the first time we have run the international games at the end of the season after all the domestic games have been played. With the NRLB making the decision that local development is our number one priority, we find it exciting that our domestic players are now playing for a position in the national squad.”
Belgian Rugby League Association president, Yves Kazadi, is hoping this year’s series will end their countries three-game losing streak.
“It’s a great challenge for our countries and this Test series between the three nationals is always good for the sport’s development in Western Europe,” he said.
“We will take the opporunity that comes with facing strong sides and assess the progress we have made since last year. Germany will start as favourites and Netherlands will be hard to beat following their domestic growth and that’s all good for the competition.”