Widnes coach appointed new Spain boss for European Championships

Josh McAllister
European Rugby League ball

Widnes assistant coach Mike Grady will lead Spain for their 2023 European Championships tournament later this autumn. 

Spain were drawn in Group B for this year’s biggest-ever European Championships and will compete against France, Wales and Italy.

It will see the nations compete for a spot at the 2025 World Cup, with the two highest ranked teams outside of England and France earning a spot at the 2025 tournament.

Fixtures are set to be played across weekends from October 21, with the final to be played across 11-12 November.

Grady was appointed assistant coach to John Kear at Widnes earlier in February following the departure of Ryan O’Brien to Warrington.

He joined the Championship club from Rochdale, and previously held the head coach position at North Wales Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions and Wales Dragonhearts.

Grady to lead Spain for European Championships

Grady said: “I am very happy with the opportunity to coach the Spanish national team in the the next European Championships. 

“I’m looking forward to the challenge this season brings and I’m excited to to face top teams like France, Wales and Italy. 

“I can’t wait for everything to get going and start preparing for the tournament and this adventure.”

Tony Palacios, President of Spanish Rugby League Association (AERL), added: “With this appointment, we begin a new stage and very important for AERL and our sport in Spain.

“Mike Grady is a coach who, despite his youth, has extensive experience in national teams and rugby league teams of first level all over England and Wales which is tremendously valuable to achieve our goals.

“With his work and with that of the rest of the volunteers who form the AERL, I’m sure we can put Spanish rugby league where it deserves to be.”

The statement also thanked previous head coach Fernando Vidal for “his dedication at the head of the men’s national team during the last years in which his work has he was instrumental in a very difficult period.”

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