The South African Rhino’s is getting ready to depart on a historical trip to Australia end of this week. The team will travel to Sydney and spend time with several top level Rugby League Clubs, and even doing a joint training session with the Bulldogs, a first for both sides. While in Australia they will play two test matches, one against the Philippines, and another against Niue. These matches form part of the long term plan for SARL to get the Rhino’s ready for their “winner takes all” World Cup Qualifier end of the year against Lebanon in Dubai.
The Rhino’s last toured Australia in 1962, so a tour like this has tremendous value, not only for South Africa, but also for the thousands of ex-partiates sitting in Australia as they can come and support their national team in two matches that promise to be very exciting. All three nations are development nations in terms of rugby league, so it will be a good yardstick for SARL to gauge the readiness of the national team for the very important World Cup Qualifier in Dubai.
Kobus Botha, President of SARL, was very optimistic, stating: “For the Rhino’s to be competitive, we need them to play international matches, and to be exposed to international level training. While the matches are important, it is just as important for the team to experience the top level training they will get at the various clubs.”
The team’s schedule is as follows:
- Friday 24th April Dual Training Session with the Canterbury Bulldogs at Belmore Oval at 16h00
- Sunday 26th April International 1: SARL Rhinos vs Philippines playing at Hammondville Oval , Moorebank at 16h00
- Monday 27th April Andrew Patmore (Assistant Coach Canterbury Bulldogs) Training Session at Narrabeen Institute for Sport
- Tuesday 27th April Manly Sea Eagles Training at Narrabeen Institute of Sport
- Tuesday 28th April Stuart Raper (Ex Cronulla Sharks Coach / Men Of League) – Training At Narrabeen Institute of Sport
- Thursday 30th April Penrith Panthers Training Session at Penrith Panthers CUB Stadium Penrith
- Saturday – 2nd May International 2: SARL Rhinos vs Niue at Campbelltown Stadium at 19h00
More updates to follow…