INTERNATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE MEMBERSHIP CONFIRMS TONGA NATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE EXPULSION

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At a Special General Meeting of International Rugby League (IRL), the membership confirmed the IRL Board decision to expel Tonga National Rugby League (TNRL) by a majority of nine votes to five.

TNRL had appealed the original decision and appeared at the SGM to present their case to the membership. The membership heard and were able to question testimony from TNRL and from IRL investigators before voting to confirm support for the Board’s original decision.

IRL now expects, in due course, an application for membership to be received from the Tongan rugby league community.

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Rugby league shuts down in Malta and Russia

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 20 March, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

RUGBY LEAGUE SHUTS DOWN IN MALTA AND RUSSIA

A special meeting of the Malta Rugby League board has agreed to postpone all local activity, effective immediately, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Malta will be shutting down all air travel from Saturday as the country extends restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus and, as a consequence, the upcoming representative fixture between Malta XIII and UK team Heavy Woollen, scheduled for 4 April, will have to be postponed, as will the Island’s domestic championship, which was scheduled to commence in May.

The decision was made after carefully considering the advice of International Rugby League, the Public Health Superintendent and widespread consultation with local government agencies.

MRL President Jean Pierre Zarb said the suspension covers all training, trials and matches in Malta and Gozo until such time when the government advises that sports are cleared to resume.

“Regretfully, our 2020 Origin series (Locals vs Expats) may also suffer,” he said. “However, our International fixtures abroad are still some time away (late June and October) and our plan at this point is to leave those options open with the favourable outcome of committing to play the men’s and women’s test matches as scheduled.”

Meanwhile in Russia, ARLC director Jon Christie issued the following statement: “In response to new government legislation introduced to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Moscow and beyond, the ARLC must confirm the postponement of the 2020 domestic championship.

“Whilst we are disappointed, the health and safety of our players, officials, volunteers, supporters and the wider public is our priority. The situation is constantly changing in Russia and we will update the rugby league community when we have more news.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

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Phil.Caplan

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49 UIT42524252

INTERNATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19

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INTERNATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE STATEMENT REGARDING COVID-19

The Board of International Rugby League (IRL) would like to update the membership and rugby league media on the position of the international federation with regard to the current and on-going COVID- 19 virus situation.

The Board advises and supports all members to follow the advice of their national governments and for all players, coaches and officials to follow the advice issued to protect against the spread of the infection.

IRL chief executive officer, Nigel Wood said;

“These are complex and unprecedented circumstances and we are monitoring the situation to ensure that we support the collective response to this crisis.

“We are not making any decisions about our international competitions at this stage however, we are considering all the options in case we need to make changes later in the year.”

ENDS

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Canada rugby league welcome Ottawa Aces

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 12 March, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

CANADA RUGBY LEAGUE WELCOME OTTAWA ACES

Canada Rugby League president Bob Jowitt has welcomed the news that the country will have a second professional rugby league side after it was announced earlier this week that Ottawa Aces will take their place in Betfred League 1 in 2021, joining Toronto Wolfpack who play in Betfred Super League and last night qualified for the quarter finals of the Coral Challenge Cup.

“The CRLA is delighted to welcome the Aces,” he said. “Having a second professional rugby league team in Ontario further raises the profile of the sport in Canada. Eric Perez, founder of the Ottawa Aces, has been in communication with the CRLA with respect to potential collaborative ventures which are anticipated to see the growth of the domestic game.

“With the Canada Ravens women’s team scheduled to compete in the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, the Wolfpack making further strides including signing an agreement with the Pro-X Rugby Academy in Calgary, and the strengthening of the America’s Championship it is an exciting time for supporters of Canadian rugby league.” Jowitt added.

Three of the country’s ten provinces – Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia – have rugby league competitions run by their own boards. In Ontario in 2019, Toronto City Saints beat Brantford Broncos to be crowned provincial champions, new junior sides, Georgina Griffins and Haldimand Wolfpack are now active, and a Masters tournament for over 35s was recently held.

Ontario Rugby League recently appointed a new board of directors and has plans to introduce two new women’s teams in 2020. They are also active in four junior schools, have interest from two high schools and in September ran level one and two coaching courses in Brampton led by the RLEF head of coaching, Martin Crick.

In Alberta, BC Bulldogs defeated Alberta Broncos in the men’s provincial final, whilst the women’s teams battled to a 26-26 draw in theirs.

The most grassroots rugby league takes place in British Columbia. In a five team men’s competition, Coastal Cougars recently defeated Grey Point Thunder in their Grand Final. Last year saw a successful period of growth for BCRL as the sport was introduced into a university environment, UBC, for the first time and an inaugural high school tournament was run, with McMath Secondary School crowned champions.

Internationally, the Ravens recently came back from a successful joint tour to Serbia with the men’s team, on which they beat the hosts twice. The men’s team are set to play in this autumn’s Americas Championship alongside Jamaica, USA and Chile.

Toronto hosted the Americas 9s last year at the Wolfpack’s Lamport Stadium alongside junior and Masters activities on the day, the event live-streamed.

The Canada Rugby League Association is planning a second East v West trial game for national team after the first was successfully held under canvas in Toronto at the start of this year.

CRLA annual turnover increased from $50k to $116k in the last year; player registration fees, sponsorship and a deal with the Watch NRL streaming service making up their core income.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

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It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49 UIT42524252

Kadikoy Bulls win inaugural Turkey Rugby League U18s title

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 6 March, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

TURKEY COMPLETE INAUGRAL JUNIOR SEASON

Undefeated Kadikoy Bulls’ 26-22 victory over Kandira in Turkey Rugby League’s inaugural U18 Grand Final is another significant milestone in the sport’s international development.

Following the establishment of men’s, women’s and beach rugby league competitions in the country in recent years, the governing body has just overseen the completion a four-team junior championship which also involved Aqua Warriors RC and Buffalos RC.

TRLA president Gurol Yildiz said: “Launching an U18 competition for 2019-20 was an amazing achievement for our local clubs. We had great demand from our upcoming youth, especially after competing against Ukraine in our first U19s European Championship play-off last August. This gave hope and excitement to them.

“In its first season, Kadikoy Bulls became champions by winning all six games, Kandira RL showed great potential for the future and Buffalos RL and Aqua Warriors RL helped make history. Buffalo RL is also an accredited child protection agency team, whom we have all worked together on developing and everyone is extremely proud of.”

Yildiz added: “As an organisation we continue to look forward. We are working closely with the RLEF’s regional director Jovan Vujosevic in developing a Balkan 9s club championship to be held in Istanbul this July and continuing to grow rugby league within all regions of Turkey and expand the existing competitions.

“TRLA has an eight team men’s competition in two divisions of four, a four team women’s league and over 25 sides competing in Beach Rugby League. The support and sponsorship locally and from Australia has been tremendous, our management team in Australia has played a huge role in our development.

“Participating for the first time in the Men’s European Championship D is a huge boost to the organisation and given us a lot of belief. We are looking forward in playing our first-ever games against the Netherlands and hoping to draw a good crowd in Rotterdam on 17 October and back in Istanbul a week later.

“It is also tremendously exciting that we have amazing and committed Turkish heritage players to call on like Jansin Turgut, Aidan Sezer, Emre Guler, Arda Dalcik, Aydin Salman-Cochrane, Yusuf George Aydin, Ali Bokeyhan Surer and many more.”

RLEF General Manager Chris Thair noted: “Turkey’s story is a remarkable one and, as ever, it is due to the commitment of very highly skilled and experienced people such as Julien Treu, Gurol Yildiz and others living in Turkey who want to make a difference.

“As a G20 nation and Turkey’s location on the cusp between Europe and Asia and so close to the Middle East and North Africa, means they are ideally placed to be an important hub for the international game. Their inaugural junior season is a significant milestone in Turkey’s quest to become a full member of the RLEF and IRL.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49 UIT42524252

South African talent set to shine at MEA Championship

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 5 March, 2020

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

SOUTH AFRICAN TALENT SET TO SHINE AT MEA CHAMPIONSHIP

Hosts South Africa, plan to showcase their domestic talent when they hold the 2020 Middle East Africa Championship against established nation Lebanon, defending champions Nigeria and 2019 runners up Morocco later in the year.

Esjé Esterhuyse, a rising rugby league star in the country, who made his senior international Rhinos debut against the Cook Islands last June is one such prospect. “I have never been so excited about a tournament, and the whole group will be doing all they can to lift the trophy,” he said. “The sport is becoming much more professional in South Africa and we hope to see that filtering through on the field”.

Esterhuyse, who has just turned 21, is a key member of the TuksRL Reds team that beat the Bears in the SARL domestic club final last month. A strong, deceptive runner, he first started playing the sport at the University of Pretoria and quickly gained selection for the national U19s team, which included a fixture against the touring Australia Universities team.

The 2020 men’s MEA Championship will be hosted at the Tuks Stadium in Pretoria with a double header semi finals day on 13th October, which will see Nigeria play Lebanon and South Africa stage an inaugural encounter with Morocco.

The two winners will face off in the decider on 17th October, with the 3rd place play-off game taking place beforehand.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49 UIT42524252

Twentieth Serbian Rugby League season gets underway

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Contact:: Miloš Šakan T +381 64 39 777 63
From: Serbian Rugby League Federation / Belgrade
Date: 26th February 2020

SERBIAN SEASON GETS UNDERWAY

The 20th Serbian domestic campaign got underway with the now traditional curtain-raiser, the annual Risman Cup challenge match, at the Skolarac stadium in Ub. Team Bev – the Serbian U21s – defeated Team John, their national U19s, 28-16; Valentino Milovanović with two of the victor’s five tries.

The match, named after the famous rugby league family who originally came from Lithuania, was the eighth in the series and proved to be good preparation for the Serbia U19 team, who will play in the U19 European Championship later this year in Italy, full back Veljko Stalević among their try scorers.

The game was the highlight of an afternoon that also included a festival which saw over 100 young boys and girls, from age U12 upwards take part, many of whom had played in the third winter league tournament.

Next up is the semi final of the Serbian Super Cup, which will see Partizan and Radnicki Nis meet at FC Heroj Polet for the right to face Red Star, whilst the defending champions take on returning side Tashmajdan Tigers in a friendly fixture at Stadium Ada Ciganlija.

“Ahead of the semi final, the two team’s U14s will meet in another pioneering game,” said Dragan Pavlović, Serbian director in charge of domestic competition. “This season our focus is on developing domestic competitions and enhancing youth categories, the women’s game and the Balkan Super League.”

As well as the Super Cup, the Serbian Cup will feature: Dorcol, Belgrade YRLC, Partizan, Radnički Belgrade, CDS Paraćin, Radnički Niš, Tashmaidan Tigers, Red Star and Morava Cheetahs, whilst the Championship will include ten sides split into a four team Super League, ‘B’ League and a North and South Group – which will also include Lokomotiv Sofia from Bulgaria.

In total, 41 fixtures will be played in the Championship, including a Magic Round when all the clubs will come together in one venue.

Pavlović added: “Six Serbian trams will play in the Balkan SL year – Red Star, Partizan, Radnički Niš, Belgrade YRLC, CDS Paraćin and Dorćol – along with five clubs from other countries: South Region Bar from Montenegro, Borac Banjaluka of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Valjacite Pernik and Lokomotive Sofia from Bulgaria, and Turkey’s Ankara Phrigians. For the first time it will be a straight knock-out.

“That is just seniors, in addition, we have six clubs in U19 competition as well as U16s and U14s playing tournaments.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

Phil​ Caplan
Phil.Caplan

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49 UIT42524252