The Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation (APRLC) will hold its Annual General Meeting for members in Parramatta, Sydney on Thursday June 20th. The confederation is the Associate Member of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) which represents the nations in the southern hemisphere.
As this year is a voting year, the meeting will elect a Chair and Vice-Chair who will serve for the next three years. The current Chair and Vice-Chair are Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a (Samoa) and Charles Carlson (Cook Islands)
The RLIF Southern Hemisphere General Manager, Jeremy Edwards recognises that this is an exciting period of history for rugby league in the region saying:
“This is a really important gathering for the rugby league community in the Southern Hemisphere. We will have delegates at the meeting from four continents, Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania. A truly inspirational gathering.
“The game in the Pacific region has developed immensely in the past 10 years to the point where, arguably, some of the great stars of our sport have their roots in the Pacific Islands.
“After the very strong showing from the Asian nations at the RLIF Emerging Nations, it will be a pleasure to welcome contributions from that region to our conversations.
“As General Manager for the Southern Hemisphere, I am looking forward to working with the chair and the board to deliver the most exciting programme of competitions, games and development ever seen in the region.”
Rugby League World Cup Qualifier 2021
In the lead up to the second Middle East and Africa Championship, to be held in Nigeria for the first time from 2-5th October 2019, bids have been received to host the 2020 tournament from four nations.
They are Lebanon - who won the first MEA tournament; South Africa - who are following up their 2015 involvement, debutants Burundi; and Nigeria who will participate t=for the first time this year.
Competing this year in Lagos are the hosts, Cameroon, Ghana and Morocco, whilst the 2020 Championship will see the competition revert to a regular two-year cycle.
“South Africa can be significant for rugby league internationally,” said SARL president Frans Erasmus. “We have the potential to become a major player and a lot to offer as a destination. Hosting the MEA Championship will support developing our presence on the sporting landscape here.”
Chairman of Burundi Rugby League XIII, Jean de Christ Rusiga noted: “Sport is our nation’s best ambassador and staging the 2020 MEA Championship would see all the people get behind us and the game of rugby league, we have some special things planned for our guests if we were to be selected.”
Chris Thair, RLEF general manager and responsible for the organisation of the Championship commented: “The strategic importance of the 2019 and 2020 MEA Championships is two-fold. Firstly, to establish a strong competition which is the flagship international tournament for the region and, secondly, to help move a number of the national federations from observer status to affiliate members in preparation for 2022.
“The 2022 MEA Championships will form part of the 2025 World Cup qualification process, which will only involve affiliate or full member nations. It is therefore essential that the next two years of competition go well and, most importantly, aspiring nations can progress.”
Thair added: “Having just completed the annual audits for 2018, early indications are that Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon and Morocco are on track to achieve that before 2022, and therefore join Lebanon and South Africa. With Burundi and Congo also showing the potential to progress, then the MEA region is becoming an exciting place for rugby league.”
Karl Bistany, Lebanon Rugby League Federation international committee chairman said: “This is the way to increase our global reach and improve inclusivity within our community and key partners. Commercially, hosting the MEA Championship will provide more sponsor interest and supporters with opportunities to get further involved in the sport.”
The decision on hosting will be taken in 30 September 2019 by RLEF Board.
March 5th 2019
The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has today confirmed that the inaugural RLIF Oceania Cup and the Great Britain Rugby League Lions tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea have both been approved for 2019. A series of women’s games will also run alongside these games.
The RLIF Oceania Cup is an innovative new tournament which will establish a regular, meaningful Pacific programme of fixtures to build upon the success of recent meetings. It will kick off with a series of matches in the mid-season international window in June and will conclude in October and November.
The tournament will be played in two pools with the winner of Pool A – comprising New Zealand, Australia and Tonga - lifting the RLIF Oceania Cup, and the winner of Pool B – Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea - lifting the RLIF Oceania Shield. The winner of Pool B will be promoted to Pool A in 2020.
RLIF Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Wood has welcomed both developments saying:
“International competition represents a wonderful opportunity for rugby league and this programme is both exciting and ground-breaking. It is uplifting that so much meaningful international competition is taking place around the globe in 2019 at all levels and it is also gratifying to see Great Britain Rugby League Lions re-appear on the calendar, surely one of our sport’s most iconic brands.
“We now have the framework of a full and global calendar in place. The RLIF is supporting the Middle East Africa Championship, Americas Championship, European Championships at three levels, the Oceania Cup at two levels and of course the World Cup, for which qualification will be concluded this year and, while of course we also have the first RLIF Downers 9’s World Cup to look forward in October, in Sydney.
“This calendar can now roll forward, develop and flourish.
“It has taken an immense amount of work to deliver this schedule and I would like to thank all RLIF colleagues and partners for the effort made to bring this programme to fruition. In particular, we have received great support from the governments of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and we look forward to working with them and other sponsors and partners. It is a great platform for the international game in the Asia Pacific Region.”
Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation Chairman, Tagaloa Faafouina Su’a said:
“There is a great passion for rugby league amongst our Pacific nations and the creation of the RLIF Oceania Cup is the missing piece of the jig-saw puzzle for us. It provides us with regular competition and the opportunity to play with and against all of our neighbours and to test ourselves against them.
“I would like to thank the RLIF Board and executive for the hard work and diligence that has gone into securing this exciting programme for 2019 which will grow into a great ongoing playing calendar for us all.”
Greg Peters, the New Zealand Rugby League CEO, said:
“It’s exciting to see all the hard work behind the scenes come to fruition with more international rugby league content locked in for New Zealand,
“Our rugby league community in New Zealand has been hoping to see more international and Kiwis fixtures come to our backyard for a while now so I’m pleased we’re able to deliver on this.
“We’ve always said that international rugby league is the pinnacle of the sport, and it’s vital to have meaningful fixtures for the Kiwis and our Pacific neighbours to play in front of league fans, family and friends.”
Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:
“The return of the famous Great Britain jersey is something people have been talking about for a long time – so this is an exciting announcement for us.
“It’s 12 years since Great Britain last played a Test, and 13 since they last travelled to the southern hemisphere, for the Tri-Nations series of 2006.
“It’s great for the game to have it back, as part of the schedule drawn up by the RLIF also including the Oceania Cup. We’ll be committed to respecting and honouring that tradition as we build up to the tour through 2019.”
Details of the 2019 Oceania Cup, GB Rugby League Lions tour and Women’s international fixtures are:
22 June New Zealand v Tonga Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
Samoa v Papua New Guinea Campbelltown, Sydney
25 October Australia v New Zealand Wollongong
Australia Jillaroos v New Zealand Ferns Wollongong
26 October GB RL Lions v Tonga Hamiliton
2 November GB RL Lions v New Zealand Eden Park, Auckland
Samoa v Fiji Eden Park, Auckland
Australia v Tonga Eden Park, Auckland
9 November New Zealand v GB RL Lions Christchurch
Papua New Guinea v Fiji Christchurch
16 November Papua New Guinea v GB RL Lions Port Moresby
PNG Orchids v Pacific All Stars Port Moresby
This year’s International Representative weekend will feature the inaugural clash between the South African Rhinos and the Malta Knights in a test that Rhinos coach Jon Wilson describes as being about “building our talent pool up.”
The Rhinos will have a strong Queensland flavour, featuring Tweed Heads Seagulls prop Shane Gillham, Halvor Harris (Lock, Townsville), Ashley Bull (Second row, Cairns), Jason King (Hooker, Emerald Cowboys), Byron Hutchinson Centre, Runaway Bay) and Andre-Carl Joubert (Five Eighth, Springsure Mountain Men) as well as former Queensland based players Brendan and Jackson Frei.
South Africa’s long-term aim is to increase their international ranking points (they are currently ranked 35th) and push for World Cup qualification, however this test is about bringing the team together, establishing a culture and getting an idea of where they sit compared to a more established and experienced side like Malta, who are currently ranked 17th.
“We want to keep this group together and hopefully get them playing more regularly, perhaps with annual fixtures” Wilson said “We’ve picked a fairly hard first up test for this group, Malta have been together a long time and have a large talent pool of players playing at a high level” he said.
One of the key people in building that culture is former Ipswich Jet and Brisbane Bronco Gideon Mzembe. Mzembe, who has previously played for South Africa is the teams’ strength and conditioning coach and described representing his homeland as an honour. “My grandmother grew up in the apartheid era, it is truly an honour to represent South Africa, for all the people from those generations that never got the chance.” He said.
The Rhinos is a heritage team, with the majority the players having been born in South Africa before emigrating to Australia. It is one of the strongest South African sides assembled. Previous Rhinos sides have been picked from players playing in South African competitions, whereas this squad consists of players with plenty of A Grade, under 20’s, Intrust Super Cup and Intrust Super Premiership experience.
As well as the Queensland contingent the side will include five players from NSW, five from Western Australia, one from New Zealand and two (Marcelle Viljoen and Zach Van Loggerenber) who will fly over from South Africa.
The test is being played on Sunday 24th of June at St Marys Rugby League stadium and will be live streamed. Go to the South African Rugby League Heritage Association Facebook page or the Malta Rugby League page for details of the stream.
The Malta Rugby League have today confirmed that the Malta Knights will feature in this year’s International Representative weekend when they return to Sydney’s west to take on the South African Rhinos at St Marys Rugby League Club Stadium on Sunday 24th June.
The inaugural Test between the two nations will take part on the NRL / Super League free weekend and will be the Knights final hit-out prior to the Rugby League Emerging Nations World Championship starting in September.
The match will be South Africa’s first Test Match since playing Niue in Pretoria in 2016 and will be the Rhinos first Australian tour since 2015.
As curtain raisers to the Test Match, the 2018 annual Tas Baitieri Interstate Challenge Cup between NSW Tertiary Student Rugby League and Universities Rugby League Queensland will take place, as well as an Under 18s clash between the Malta Heritage team and an African United side.
The Malta v South Africa Test is the fourth Test Match confirmed for the International Representative weekend, with England set to take on New Zealand in Denver, whilst Campbeltown Stadium in Sydney will host a Double Header featuring Tonga, Samoa, Lebanon and Papua New Guinea.
Rugby League is ‘n 13 man weergawe van rugby en word al sedert die 1960’s in Suid Afrika gespeel. Bekende Springbokke van ouds soos Tom van Vollenhoven, Ray Mordt, Rob Louw en Warren Brosnian het beide die 15 man unie rugby sowel as Rugby League gespeel. Tenspyte van ‘n aktiewe klub liga het dertien man rugby net nog nooit werklik tot sy reg gekom in Suid Afrika nie.
In lande soos Australia, Nieu Zealand en Engeland is Rugby League ‘n baie populêre sport waar die getal Rugby League spelers meer is as die van die bekende 15 man rugby unie in van hierdie lande.
Ons sal graag Rugby League as ‘n volwaardig erkende sport in Suid Afrika vestig., aldus Frans Erasmus, Vise President van SA Rugby League. Erasmus was al voorheen betrokke by 15 man unie rugby op skole, provinsiale en nasionale vlakke. Hy was onder andere die deel van die afrigtingspan van die vroue 15 man Nasionale span saam met Jan Hanekom. Sy betrokkenheid by Rugby League spruit uit sy belangstelling om minder bekende sporte in Suid Afrika te promofeer.
Frans Parsons, die Hoof Uitvoerende beampte van SA Rugby League sê dat Rugby League ‘n baie meer fisiese en vinnige rugby oplewer. Parsons het beide weergawes van die sport gespeel en speel trouens nog steeds. Hy het ook verskeie kere vir die SA Rugby League se nasionale span, die Rhino’s uitgedraf waarvan hy vir twee jaar ook die kaptein van die span was. Parsons is van mening dat baie unie rugby spelers Rugby League in hulle af seisoen speel en dit verbeter hulle vaardighede aansienlik. Hy reken ook dat Rugby League ‘n baie toeskouer vriendelike sport is.
SA Rugby League beoog ook om Rugby League uit te brei na skole vlak. As deel van hierdie projek word daar op Saterdag 24 Februarie ‘n Rugby League Neges Feesdag aangbied by Prestige College in Pretoria. Die doel van hierdie toernooi is om die sport bekend te stel aan die publiek en om aan die skool seuns die geleentheid te gee om te sien hoe gesoute league spelers sake op die veld uitspook.
Vyf spanne vanuit verskillende provinsies sal teen mekaar deelneem en die publiek is meer as welkom om die toernooi te ondersteun om meer te wete te kom oor die sport. Skole spanne sal ook vir die eerste keer in Suid Afrika aan hierdie tiernooi deelneem. Vir meer inligting in die verband kan die Direkteur van Bemarking Armand Bahre gekontak word by email@example.com
Frans Erasmus het bygevoeg dat SA Rugby League nou oor ‘n nuwe dinamies bestuurspan beskik en hy sien uit na die nuwe pad wat Rugby League in Suid Afrika inslaan.
By STEVE MASCORD
RUGBY League has again been rejected for membership of global body Sport Accord in a major blow to the game’s hopes of international expansion.
League has already twice been turned down for recognition. The new chairman of the body, Patrick Baumann, confirmed the snub in an interview with aroundtherings.com.
“The three federations have done a lot of work in trying to fullfill the criteria. We are very appreciative of that,” Baumann was quoted as saying. “The reality is that unfortunately they are not at the end of that process.” “The criteria that SportAccord has in it statutes are very strict. So we can’t just close one eye and one ear and move ahead with them.
“Each of them have different topics that they have to work on and we are going to help with them. But right now it [membership] isn’t possible.”
There is so far no information on what area rugby league fell short in. Sport Accord has a congress planned for early April and it was widely anticipated rugby league would gain acceptance then.
Sport Accord will consider granting some federations “observer status” if there are no “rivalry issues”. It’s fair to say there is some rivalry between rugby league and rugby union, which played a role in blocking the last application for membership.
Without Sport Accord recognition, rugby league is locked out of government funding in many countries and players are left with insurance issues.
Also, rugby union can continue to claim jurisdiction over league in places like the United Arab Emirates, South Africa and Italy.
On Friday the 3rd of February 2017 Dr. Frans Erasmus,SARL Board Member and Frans Parsons, SARLA CEO had the privilege to meet with Mr. Farnaud the French ambassador in South Africa. The function was to promote France for the 2024 bid for the Olympics. The evening was based around a worldwide photography competition where all the winners were exhibited.
During this sport evening we had the opportunity to discuss rugby union as well as Rugby League with the ambassador. He is very keen on both codes and the forthcoming Springbok tour against France later this year sparked a conversation where the possibility for a league test series against France was discussed.
We planned this for 2018 and the ambassador will set up a meeting with us to introduce us to all the relevant role players. This was a great opportunity for SARLA. " It is imperative that we build relationships with foreign Embassy's in South Africa to enable SARL to develop the game in South Africa and assists with awareness of the code of Rugby League in South Africa Frans Parsons the CEO of SARL said."
IT’S something only the bravest of men would shout in the streets of Jean Coetzer’s native Pretoria.
It would probably draw derision at it’s mildest and pose a threat to one’s person at it’s most extreme, but for Corrimal recruit, Coetzer, there is no doubt – rugby league is the greatest game of all.
“It’s a lot better than union, it’s faster quicker, tougher,” Coetzer says.
League writers Mitch Jennings and Tim Barrow talk NRL and Illawarra Coal LeagueLike most boys growing up in Pretoria, Coetzer was brought up in the 15-man game with no knowledge of rugby league.
“When I was young it was non-existent. I didn’t even know about it,” Coetzer said.
“I grew up playing union and started playing [league] in 2009, with my brother just for a bit of bonding with friends. I got straight through to provincial [championship] and straight to International and I’ve played ever since.”
The game is faced with many hurdles in his homeland, not the least of which is the the South African Sports Confederation’s stubborn refusal to recognise the game as separate from rugby union; the battle the league fought in other countries more than 100 years ago.
Despite that the competition continues to grow with the premier Rhino Cup featuring teams from Gauteng Province and another competition based around Cape Town.
“When I started I don’t think we were even on the map but it’s really coming up now,” Coetzer said.
“The Rhino Cup is our top comp and it’s based mainly Gauteng [province], so between Pretoria, Johannesburg and Mpumalanga. This year we started a comp in Cape Town so hopefully if the money gets good we can combine and make it a big [national] comp.”
Coetzer first played his first Test for South Africa in 2009 and captained the Rhinos in their World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon last year, a tournament that saw the climb as high as 25 in the world rankings.
“It was a very great experience, especially with all the young boys I had under me. It’s was a really big honour,” he said.
At 26, he felt the time was right to seek out a tougher challenge. He got a quick initiation in the Cougars last-start loss to Collegians and Saturday promises a massive step up against league leaders Dapto.
“This is the first time I’ve come abroad to play and I’ve definitely come here for a step up,” he said.
“I came straight off the plane and got straight into the two practice sessions and played [against Collegians]. It’s a lot quicker than I’m used to but now, after three weeks, the body’s more used to it so we’ll see how I go this weekend against Dapto.”
Elsewhere in the Illawarra Coal League, Wests host Thirroul at Parrish Park while Berkeley will travel to Helensburgh to take on the Tigers at Rex Jackson Oval.