Archive | March 2017

Rugby League kicks on in Turkey

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 31 March, 2017

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

KADIKOY BULLS TAKE FIRST-EVER TURKISH RUGBY LEAGUE TITLE AS NATIONAL SIDE GETS SET TO PLAY

A magnificent display from man of the match, Kadıköy full-back Alican Acar – who crossed for five of their 13 tries – saw the Bulls triumph 66-14 in the first-ever Turkish Rugby League Grand Final.

Centre Aykut Kanaclar also claimed a hat trick, as the unbeaten Bulls took the trophy at the Maltepe Stadium in Istanbul.

Eren Kemal Sen grabbed a brace of touchdowns, Onur Ersoy, Doruk Celiktutan and Taylan Kokuroglu also crossing, whilst Behzad Jalili kicked seven goals.

Kadıköy captain Doruk Celiktutan commented: “It was much higher quality than I expected even though it’s the first time we have held such a competition in Turkey. It shows the huge potential here. All our teams have improved with each game played.”

Their coach Julien Treu, the instigator of the competition, added: “I would like to congratulate all the teams who took part of this first rugby league championship, the fixtures were fulfilled and we had some very exciting matches. Thanks also needs to go to everybody involved in this set-up who worked very hard behind the scenes, and the successful final was the result of their work.

“We believe rugby league has big potential in Turkey we will do our best to keep it up. We have come a long way and do not intend to stop now.”

Eskisehir Aqua never gave up and posted tries by Abdullah Kaptan, centre Selçuk Cömert – who also kicked a goal – and Selim Özdemir.

Aqua skipper, full-back Emin Erden noted: “This season was a great experience for all the Turkish teams. I believe that next year will be an even more competitive one with more sides participating. Kadıköy played with the quality of a European team.”

Jovan Vujosevic, RLEF Central & Eastern Europe regional director noted: “The Turkish Rugby League Association has now met all the criteria for acceptance of observer membership and that is huge progress in less than a year. They will host the GB Student Pioneers and the national team will play in the Belgrade Euro 9s in June and the Balkan Cup in October 2017 alongside Serbia, Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria who are so far confirmed.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Sweden rugby league qualifies match officials

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 29 March 2017

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

SWEDEN QUALIFIES NEW MATCH OFFICAL EDUCATORS

The latest project in the RLEF-EU Training and Education Portal has resulted in two Swedish match officials, Rajendra Shah and Paris Ghavidel-Asgari, achieving their Level 1 educator qualification.

Eight local participants attended the course along with Svenska Rugby League Forening’s project cluster colleagues the Czech Rugby League Association, represented by L1 Educators Jaroslav Bzoch and Lukas Hergott, who also increased their experience and knowledge.

Overseeing the activity, RLEF Tutor Phil Smith, was pleased to see further progress. “It’s great to see locals being tutored by people of their own country, but also the confirmation that the education system we have in place is achieving its objectives of sharing knowledge between nations. These educators have known one another for a couple of years now and to see them have the confidence to critically challenge one another is uplifting.”

The TEP is a three-year, €723.000 investment into capacity building through good governance and technical training, funded by €466.000 from the EU’s Erasmus+ project and the remainder from the RLIF and five of its full members. It is intended to build the knowledge and skills of the RLEF’s 21 European members, divided into six regional clusters, through high quality training and mentoring, while granting opportunities to share experiences.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Emerging Nations Rugby League World Cup announced for 2018

28 March 2017 – Ambitious enthusiasts from all corners of the globe will converge on Sydney in November 2018 for the Rugby League Emerging Nations World Championship (ENWC) following a decision at today’s RLIF Board to award a grant of $100,000 to the event.

A celebration of the sport’s global expansion and diverse communities, the ENWC will feature Tier Two and Tier Three nations from around the world where the sport is developing.

The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) event will be a two-week gathering of communities from a geographical spread never seen before in rugby league.

“The 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship will feature more global teams than any previous rugby league competition,” RLIF Chairman Nigel Wood said.

“It will put the spotlight on the fact that rugbyleague is played in more than 60 countries and give recognition to the many volunteer players and officials around the globe who do great things for this sport. One of the Board’ objectives in awarding the grant was to measure the event’s success by creating a legacy of participants returning to their nation to spread the interest and growth in Rugby League.

“People may not realise Canada has been competing internationally for 30 years, or that domestic leagues are now established in a wide range of countries for example in Hungary, Chile and Hong Kong.”

Western Sydney is set to be the hub of activity, with confirmed competition venues including Windsor, St Mary’s and Cabramatta. Alongside the ENWC the RLIF Board also endorsed the concept of a number of regional teams playing in a separate competition.

“The reason many of us love rugby league is because it’s open to everybody,” Mr Wood said.

“It is a sport that rewards flair and developing nations enjoy the fact it is uncomplicated by technicalities or expensive equipment.

“The game’s popularity is reflective of its ability to serve as a vehicle for positive life changes, and that will be demonstrated by the stories of players from many backgrounds participating in the Emerging Nations World Championship.

“I’m sure there will be rags to riches tales and, undoubtedly many players who dream of a professional contract but, regardless, this event will be something special within itself.”

Confirmed nations competing in the event are: Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Niue, Philippines, Thailand and Vanuatu.

The RLIF is expecting to confirm several additions to this already diverse list in coming months, with the tournament draw to be released in 2018.

Fans will be able to keep abreast of the latest news on the ENWC by visiting http://www.rlif.com.

NOTES TO EDITORS

The Rugby League Emerging Nations World Championship 2018 will take place in Western Sydney in the first half of November.

The event will be the third staging of the emerging nation’s concept, and the first time it has been held in Australia. The last ENWC took place in the United Kingdom in 2000.

Contact: media@rlif.com

ENDS

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RLIF approves Emerging Nations World Cup 2018

At its meeting on 28 March 2017 the RLIF Board made substantive progress to broaden and strengthen International Rugby League.

RLIF Emerging Nations World Championship

In support of the RLIF strategic plan ‘Global Conversion’ the Board determined to support an Emerging Nations World Championship in 2018. Each team will be required to be entered by the RLIF Member Nation and will be required to meet the RLIF eligibility regulations. The RLIF determined that a measure of success for the event and RLIF’s investment of $100,000 will be the legacy provided by players returning to their home nation to expand and further develop the sport. In addition to the Emerging Nations World Championship expressions of interest had been received by RLIF from regions to compete in their own competition. Whilst being unable to financially support such a competition the RLIF Board endorsed up to four regions participating in a parallel competition.

RLIF Rugby League World Cup 2021 Qualification

In respect of the qualification process for the RLIF Rugby League World Cup 2021 it was agreed that this would be a 16 -team tournament. Seven teams will be qualified from Europe, 6 from Asia Pacific , 2 from the Americas and one from a play-off series hosted in Middle East/Africa . The Quarter-Finalists in the 2017 RLIF Rugby League World Cup will qualify as of right.

Should 6 teams not pre-qualify via the RLIF RLWC17 Quarter-Finals from Asia-Pacific then the 16th place will be awarded to Middle East/Africa.

Should 6 teams pre-qualify via the Quarter-Finals from Asia-Pacific in 2017 and Lebanon do not qualify via the Quarter- Finals in 2017 then the 16th place will be determined by a play-off hosted in Middle East/Africa between the Middle East/Africa Champions and the 7th placed nation in Asia-Pacific.

Should 6 teams pre-qualify via the Quarter- Finals from Asia Pacific and Lebanon qualify via the Quarter Finals in 2017 that a play-off be held hosted by Middle East/Africa between the highest placed team in Middle/East Africa excluding Lebanon, the 3rd placed team in the Americas and the 7th placed team in Asia-Pacific.

RLIF Chairman Nigel Wood commented;

“The Board were mindful that every nation should have an opportunity to participate in a qualification process for the RLIF Rugby League World Cup in 2021. This solution provides every nation with that opportunity whilst rewarding success for eight of our Members who reach the Quarter-Finals of the 2017 RLIF Rugby League World Cup.”

FIRL (Italy)

The RLIF Board received a report that FIRL (Italy) had now fully complied with all criteria regarding RLIF Full Membership and therefore the RLIF Board now recommends to the Members at the AGM that Italy become a Full Member of RLIF.

Nigel Wood commented;

“Italy has demonstrated through its development programmes as well as its success in qualifying for the 2017 World Cup that the nation fully merits becoming a Full Member of RLIF. The Board will make the required recommendation to the Members at our next AGM and we warmly congratulate the Officers of FIRL”

The International Calendar

Substantive progress was made with the International Calendar.

RLIF Chairman Nigel Wood commented:

“This meeting received the Tier One Nations proposed programme for the next four-year cycle together with the RLF Global Events. The RLIF Chief Executive David Collier will now work with our Continental Federations and our International Competition Group chaired by Graeme Thompson to bring forward proposals to our 9 May Board meeting concerning complementary Continental competitions and matches to expand Tier Two and Tier Three Nation international fixtures.

Whilst the detail of the matches will not be finalised until the Autumn RLIF is delighted to have identified a full programme for the next four-year cycle to enable the completion of the International Calendar.”

The Board agreed that in 2019 the November tours by England to Australia and New Zealand should be complemented by an RLIF Nines World Cup. Expressions of interest to host the RLIF Nines World Cup have been received and a full report will be made to the 9 May Board meeting. Following an evaluation of the 2019 RLIF Nines World Cup the Board will review whether the 2023 RLIF Global Event should be a Nines World Cup or a 13 a side event.

RLIF Board meeting summary

Nigel Wood summarised the meeting:

“This has been an historic meeting for RLIF. Detailed discussions concerning the International Calendar have been progressing for more than a year. Today we have progressed those discussions, made substantive progress with the Calendar and supported all levels of our Membership. Further detail will be discussed at our May Board meeting in Sydney when we look forward to detailing the breadth of international rugby league being played throughout our 68 member nations”.

Ends

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Calabar High claim Jamaican schools rugby league titles

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From: Jamaica Rugby League Association

Date: 28 March, 2017

CALABAR HIGH CROWNED U14 AND U16 CHAMPIONS

Calabar High School have completed the double, winning the respective Grand Finals at U14 and U16 age groups, defeating Spanish Town High in both.

The U14s won 24-8 to end the season unbeaten, leading from start to finish. Jevantae Mellard scored two tries in the first half together with one from powerful second rower Geovaughnie Witter.

Spanish Town got back in the contest just before the break when centre Rohan Douglas crashed over to make it 12-4.

But Calabar dominated the second period with further tries to MVP Jahmai Beaumont and Courtney Barrett.

In the U16s game, Calabar defeated the defending champions 18-10 in a tense contest.

They held a narrow 2-0 lead at half time after captain Ta-Michael Watson kicked a penalty six minutes into the game.

Tah-Jay Roberts was awarded a penalty try when he was tackled high in the act of scoring, and MVP Kahlil Green posted two quick-fire touchdowns to put his side in command at 16-0 with a quarter of the game to play.

Spanish Town’s Kimony Martin and Watson swapped penalties and, two minutes from time, Odaine Shaw also awarded a penalty try to set a tense ending.

Contact –
Romeo Monteith

JRLA Director of Rugby

Tel: 1-876-460-9901

Email: romeocbar or Romeo.Monteith@rlef.eu.com

Website: www.jamaicarugbyleague.com

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

History set to be made in Turkish rugby league

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 23 March, 2017

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

KADIKOY BULLS PRIMED FOR FIRST-EVER TURKISH RUGBY LEAGUE TITLE

Istanbul-based Kadikoy Bulls will start as strong favourites to win the first-ever Turkish rugby league Grand Final after going undefeated throughout the domestic season.

The Bulls, who play the Eskisehir Aqua Warriors at the atmospheric Maltepe Stadium in Istanbul this Sunday (kick off 2pm), are the most experienced side in the competition having supplied the majority of the Turkish squad that played an international against Greece XIII in October 2016.

Kadikoy coach – and one of the driving forces behind the competition’s creation in December – Julien Treu, believes the Warriors from the north-west of the country will provide his side with stiff opposition.

“Last time we played them we won 46 -21, however, I was very impressed with their last game against Bilgi. They are more experienced now and have some great athletes so they will be dangerous,” Treu cautioned. “From what I have seen of such as Selçuk Cömert, Selim Özdemir, Erdem Çağdaş and their captain, Emin Erden, they will be players to watch during the final.”

The Turkish Rugby League has invited international referee and Greece RL administrator George Stilianos to officiate the historic final.

“We will be taking part in the Balkan Cup in a month so we wanted our players to experience a referee of George’s standing and knowledge in preparation,” Treu added. “Being one of the founders, I am very happy about the competition and the participation level.

“We are expecting a decent crowd. The interest has been building since the competition started. I am very excited about the final as it will be the culmination of all the hard work we have put in before and after the competition launched on December 25.

“I believe the final has all the ingredients to be a great game. Eskisehir will be a tough team to beat but I am confident based on previous results that our performance will be strong and we can be the first team to lift the trophy.”

RLEF Central & Eastern Europe Regional Director, Jovan Vujosevic, commented: “I am very proud of the work that the Turkish Rugby League Association has undertaken in less than a year. Their first contact with the sport was in June 2016 in Serbia and since then, with good planning and hard work, they have managed to organize coach and match official education courses, register the association and organize a domestic competition with five teams.

“TRLA will soon submit an application for observer membership of the RLEF.“

The match will be livestreamed at – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG86lJpPWkg

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Greek rugby league association awarded observer status

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 23 March, 2017

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

GREEK RUGBY LEAGUE ASSOCIATION AWARDED OBSERVER STATUS

The RLEF has granted Observer status to the Greek Rugby League Association. The GRLA, which is registered in Athens, was incorporated on 28 February 2017 and is the governing body of the four clubs that participate in the domestic competition; Patras, Rhodes Knights, Aris Eagles and Attica Rhinos.

A temporary six-person board of directors will sit until May, when elections will be held to vote in a more permanent group with a four-year mandate.

The interim president is George Stilianos who has led the Greek rugby league community through its hiatus in 2015-16, culminating in the expulsion from the RLEF of the now defunct Hellenic Rugby League Federation for severe governance breaches late last year.

“For the last two years we have kept rugby league going despite the regular threats, bullying and hostilities towards us,” said Stilianos. “This is a great day for rugby league in Greece, and we welcome anyone and everyone who shares our passion and desire to develop and grow the game to come and join us.

“We are committed to doing things the right way, with transparency, fairness and respect. We look forward to returning to the international scene but our top priority, as it has always been, remains our domestic development.”

The four-team competition played a mixture of 13 and 9-a-side games in the 2015-16 season but is exclusively 13-a-side for the current campaign. The GRLA has 14 qualified and active match officials and 11 Level 1 coaches.

“We have been doing our best to keep in line with the high standards of good governance set by the RLEF and we intend to continue that way ensuring democratic procedures are followed,” Stilianos added.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Eight-team Ukraine Super League set for kick off

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FROM: UKRAINE RUGBY LEAGUE FEDERATION

DATE: 23 March, 2017

CONTACT: Artur Martyrosyan (arturrugby)

UKRAINE SUPER LEAGUE SET FOR KICK OFF

The Ukrainian Super League kicks off on 25 March with eight clubs playing in two groups of four and expectations that it will be the most competitive domestic season yet.

Group A in the west includes Sokil L`viv, Veres Rivne, Korzo Uzhgorod, and RLC Mukachevo whilst in east/central Group B, Legion XIII Kharkiv, RLC Kyiv, Korabel Mykolaiv, and Kyiv Rebels face each other.

Legion XIII has won all eight Ukrainian championship to date and five Ukrainian Cups, whilst Sokil has been the defeated finalists for the past two seasons.

“This season will certainly be the strongest in the history of Ukrainian rugby league,” enthused Gennadiy Vepryk, head coach of RLC Legion XIII and the national team. “Most teams have recruited well but we also had a good preparation period during the winter and are ready to defend our title once more.”

RLC Kyiv promises to be Legion’s main group rival having finished third in the league and runners-up in the cup last year. Their coach Evgen Zubryts`kyy is enthusiastic about his team’s prospects. “We had a great debut season last year and now we aim to be in contention.”

“For the last two years we have come in second place in the Ukraine Super League, so this year we hope to be a champions,” added Evgen Tarasenko, coach of RC Sokil, L`viv.

The Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League has invested a lot of time in fostering relationships with municipal governments to gain use of high quality facilities such as the Rivne City Stadium, which attracted 1,500 fans for the visit of the Czech Republic in last year’s European Championship C.

“We really hope that this season all our teams will show improved form on the field and a better level of organisation on game day,” said UFRL president Artur Martyrosyan. “That is necessary for the continuing development of rugby league here.”

All of the clubs operate in the face of the ongoing difficulties that beset the country: a tough economic situation and political instability in the Lugansk and Donetsk regions. The latter was responsible for major disruption in the 2016 championship when the bulk of the Donetsk team were drafted into the army to fight in the east, preventing them from completing their season.

Martyrosyan is also in contact with European Super League clubs to propose twinning with Ukrainian clubs.

In the opening round of matches, in Group A Veres will host Sokil and in Group B Legion XIII entertain Korabel.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Rugby league making strides in Africa

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FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 21 March, 2017

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

SPIKE OF INTEREST OUT OF AFRICA

The RLEF’s Middle East Africa region has reported an encouraging rise in the level of interest in rugby league over the last few months. Remond Safi, MEA regional director, is in contact with a record number of nations who are either actively or seeking to get involved with the sport.

“Africa has seen a spike in activity and has the potential to register a high number of affiliated nations over the coming years,” says Safi. “The continent has a good track record of producing great athletes who take to our sport well. I’ve seen it not only in Africa but recently in Australia through the Africa United team.”

“The nations all face the same issues,” continues Safi, who is based in Beirut but has visited Ghana, Morocco, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE and Ethiopia recently. “Either lack of finances and/or government recognition, which means limited facilities to play the sport. The RLEF is in the process of applying for several grants for the region to give many of these nations the basic tools to develop the sport.”

He is hopeful that the Rugby League Federation of Ghana will consolidate after four years establishment and begin a process of organic growth. Safi is working with interested parties there and in the UK, to develop a five-year cycle of university twinning which will give RLFG a regular supply of British expertise to build up the sport’s culture among its advocates and help achieve sustainability.

In Sierra Leone, five schools are regularly playing rugby league led by development manager Magnus O’Reilly Campbell. Like RLFG, the Sierra Leonean Rugby League Federation has government recognition but is starved of resources.

“One of the grant applications I’m writing centres around technical education,” notes Safi. “We send packages of rugby balls to various countries but that’s not enough. We need to be able to provide the technical leaders, such as we have in Ghana and Sierra Leone, with high quality game education and the capacity to mentor the locals. We have the system but we need to pay for it through donor agencies such as Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.”

There are fresh opportunities in the Francophone world, too, with the addition of Burundi to rugby league’s ranks last year and the Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo rugby leagues, which are taking their formative steps.

The French government’s foreign aid budget can potentially support MEA’s aims. In Cameroon, the local leadership has met with the government regarding accreditation and is preparing its Observer membership application, as is the DRC.

French Federation de Rugby a Treize secretary Valerie Dumontet works for the European Union and has discussed opportunities for cooperation with Safi in Lebanon and whilst the existing Federation Marocaine de Rugby League is dormant, he is in talks with potential new nations Libya and Tunisia.

The former is preparing an Observer application and in Tunisia a group of French rugby league advocates are intent on beginning development work and have been introduced to the Ministry of Youth and Sport there.

In East Africa, Safi has been dealing with several interested parties in Kenya, although in Ethiopia initial activity in one of the country’s leading schools lessened following the departure of a key staff member, but the project’s instigators are organising elections to appoint new administrators.

“It is very important that, somehow, we are able to support these new organisations with the basic tools so our sport can take a hold,” concludes Safi.

Although no longer an RLEF member, South African Rugby League still collaborates closely with him as their interests are aligned with the MEA. SARL recently appointed a new CEO and officially welcomed the Cape Town region to its organisational structure.

Safi was successful in obtaining a A$10k grant application from the Australian government to aid SARL’s youth development and it is programmes such as these that offer hope to resource-hungry leagueites in the region.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Six nations represented at Rotterdam rugby league nines

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 17 March, 2017

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

SIX NATIONS REPRESENTED AT ROTTERDAM 9s

Sides from six nations – Holland, England, Wales, France, Germany and the Czech Republic – will take part in the second, annual Rotterdam 9s, hosted by Rotterdam Pitbulls RLFC on Saturday 8 April at Rotterdamse Studented Rugby Club.

The event is organised by the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond and last year saw teams from Belgium and Australia take part in what is a truly cosmopolitan day.

Netherlands teams Harderwijk Dolphins, Amsterdam Cobras and Rotterdam Pitbulls will face competition from Wests Warriors (England), Swansea University (Wales), TSV Karlshöfen (Germany), RLC Dragons Krupka (Czech Republic) and Nanterre 92 "Les Hussards" Paris (France).

The first game kicks off at 10:00 and the finals are scheduled to be held at around 18:00.

Jason Bruygoms, NRLB development officer and the Rotterdam 9s coordinator said: “We are very excited about the tournament after 2016 was such a success and we hope that the Rotterdam 9s will become highly respected in the international calendar, but with a distinctly club feeling. We hope to expand the tournament each year to include more teams.

“The nines concept is a great development tool for us and gives the sport some great exposure just before the domestic season starts on 22 April.”

The NRLB will play a four-team championship for the first time in its history following the successful formation of Harderwijk Dolphins RLFC last year.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

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

RLEF

20 Fitzroy Square,

London W1T 6EJ

+44 207 121 6526

danny.kazandjian

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.

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.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252