FAR & WIDE: Number 47

Far & WideBy STEVE MASCORD
THE details are finally through for the mid-year international which will determine who becomes the fourth side in this year’s Four Nations.
Samoa will play Fiji in at Centrebet Stadium on Saturday May 3 in a clash certain to rock the foundations of the venue. Both sides are looking to call in players who may not have been available for last year’s World Cup, including the likes of John Sutton and Jarryd Hayne for the Bati.
The countries were initially told that the highest finisher of the Pacific Nations at the World Cup would qualify for the Four Nations. But then officials thought out that scenario, realising that two Pacific nations could easily be eliminated at the same stage of the tournament.
Had the original edict stood, F‍iji would have qualified; but now they have to overcome another hurdle.
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THE Rugby League European Federation has announced a new competition structure.
All three tiers of competition will come under the banner European Championship, which is the norm in other sports. The Cup, Shield and Bowl will become the European Championship, Championship B and Championship C respectively.
The winners of the Championship will join Australia, England and New Zealand in the 2016 Four Nations. The draw for Championship B has been released. It is:
SERBIA V UKRAINE – 17 May, Belgrade
UKRAINE V RUSSIA – 24 May, Kharkov
RUSSSIA V SERBIA – 21 June, Naro Fominsk
UKRAINE V ITALY 5 – July, Kharkov
ITALY V RUSSIA 26 – July, Gemona
SERBIA V ITALY 20 – September, Belgrade
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SCOTLAND have retained the same coaching team of Steve McCormack and his assistants Dave Rotheram and John Duffy for the upcoming Commonwealth Nines to be played as an exhibition sport at the Glasgow games.
But Italy coach Carlo Napolitano has stood down following the strong showing at the World Cup, earning praise from a wide range of people who worked with him in the capacity.
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Alot of our pre-season news seems to be coming from America, where the USARL are planning a development tour to Jamaica.
The tour is open to all; it’s not going to be a representative team as such. There’s a game against Duhaney Park Red Sharks on April 3and Jamaica Hurricanes on April 5.
If you’re in America right now and interested, contact Ryan McGough at rmcgough@usarl.com.
Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

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