On Wednesday, 25 November 2020, the Blue Bulls Rugby Union Committee, formally approved the application of its rugby league equivalent, the North Gauteng Rugby League (NGRL), for associate membership. This decision followed the earlier affiliation of the South African Rugby League Sporting Association (SARLSA) to its national counterpart, the South African Rugby Union (SARU) as an associate member. This affiliation was mediated by the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC) and was aimed at securing formal recognition for the sport of rugby league. SARLSA, in accordance with the formal Memorandum of Understanding between the two bodies, remained an independent entity responsible for its own operations.
In line with national developments, it was agreed that all provincial and regional bodies would similarly affiliate as associate members of the appropriate provincial structure. The NGRL is therefore the first SARLSA affiliate to formally affiliate to its relevant provincial counterpart. This will now be followed by the formal conclusion of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties which will formally conclude the process which was initiated in May this year. In practice, associate members is allowed to participate in all discussions but do not have voting rights.
Against this background, Dr. Frans Erasmus, President of SARLSA remarked:
“This is a positive development and a significant step towards establishing the NGRL as an iconic province on par with the Blue Bulls. We are also committed to win the same level of support for our sport from the South African rugby-loving public and to bring honour to both province and country. Rugby League offers real opportunities for ambitious players and is able to provide talented sportsmen and women with additional pathways to achieve their dreams. Good luck to our clubs as they continue with the task of promoting rugby league”.
Dr. Hendrik Snyders
Media Officer: SARLSA