Super League Expands its Wings

By Daniel Andruczyk

So with the Super League season having started this weekend there is great news involving the super league coming out of Norway. There is also movement in the USA from both the AMNRL and USARL. The Kiwis also have some news coming out with counties Manuka having their General Meeting.

History Made in Norway.

Norwegian TV broadcaster TV2 Sport will be showing the Super League this year. This is exciting news and Warren Heilig’s work getting the sport into the public eye is paying off. The sport will be broadcast right from the get go, with Millennium Magic being shown live into Norway. But the real excitement is not just that the Super League is being broadcast but that during the St Helens game there will be three opportunities given to Rugby League Norway to promote the sport Locally.

The Vipers are Back?!

So we are getting a tantalizing glimpse of one of the new WAMNRL teams names. On Thursday 10 February on twitter David Niu tweeted:

tweet_niu_vipers2

So it looks like the Las Vegas team will be know as the Vipers and not the Blackjacks as previously thought.

Last week I had a shot at both the AMNRL and USARL for not doing anything with their websites. In my usual bi-daily search through all the websites I have come across some movement on the USA websites. So now the http://www.amnrl.com website is completely down with a “Oops we think that this link is broken” message while the USARL have a new news item up on their site. It still looks unfinished and not very professional but there is new news at least. The Inaugural USARL 9s tournament has been announced and looks like there will be touring New Zealand teams from the defence forces and Police as well as the GB police.

Though its not all bad news I guess for the AMNRL will Marcus Vasilokopolous or better known by most as Vassy now has his own column in the We Are Rugby website. His first column he interviews his old mate Adrian Morley. Also the Orange County Outlaws in California have got a website up and running and there seems to be some movement from the Chicago Stockyarders with heavy tweeting that they will have a big season and also the website getting updated.

Election to Zone Board in NZ

With the restructuring of the sport in New Zealand there are now 7 zones that the game has been structured into. On of these, Counties Manuka held its inaugural AGM on the 24th January where they announced the 4 elected directors for the Zone Board. Wally Dumper, Cathy Friend, Alan Johnson and Russell Preston were the successful candidates, and we congratulate them. They join Ken Lotuliga, Trevor Gill and Emile Va’afusuaga, the Appointed Directors, to form the inaugural Zone Board.

Staying in the Counties Manukau zone, it is at the critical stage of recruiting the inaugural Zone General Manager. The GM is accountable to the Zone board and will also be responsible to the NZRL CEO for consistent delivery of the national ‘Game Plan’.

The Auckland Zone also held its inaugural Annual General Meeting on the 24th and announced three of the four Elected Directors for the Zone Board. Evelyn Brooker, Peter Douglas and Mark Wallace were the successful candidates. They join Sam Sefuiva, Brian Lythe & Luke Gagamoe, the Appointed Directors. The fourth position was a tie between Tania Brown and Wayne Urquhart. A further election will be held between these two candidates only with the candidate receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.

On Saturday the NZRL Community Roots Camp was in Rotorua. Skills & Fun Games, a Rugby League Carnival and backyard footy were all part of the camp and was open to all 5 – 12 year olds. The day finished at 1pm which was in plenty of time to see the Junior Warriors and Warriors play at the International Stadium. Ruben Wiki was there to meet the kids and some of the Vodafone Warriors were there as well as photo opportunities with the World Cup & the Four Nations trophy’s. Great to see the NZRL and Kiwis going round and using their new status to promote the sport.

What’s happening?

OK so at the request of some of my readers I have started to dig for info in South Africa and PNG about what is happening in their countries with the sport. South Africa of course will be competing in the World Cup qualifiers this year and so are gearing up for that now, where as PNG are at the other spectrum with the sport in a bit of a crisis with their board split and law suits being threatened left right and centre.  So I hope that soon I will have enough information to be able to at least shed a bit of light in both countries.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email: daniel@rugbyleagueinternationalscores.comcolumn
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21 Responses to “Super League Expands its Wings”

  1. dragons4eva says:

    Thanks for the wrap up Druzik.

    Awesome news from Norway, seems that RL is spreading like wild fire there.

    As for the USA, i hope that we get more info apart from the odd tweet from Niu or some random text about updates.

    NZ seems to be going very well in junior and county development. Their provincial and domestic competitions seem to be coming along very well!

  2. png says:

    Great news for Norway, The English rl and super league are doing a great job of sreading & developing rugby league what makes this so good is that the norway rugbyleague will be given timeslots at half time of the matches to explain some of the rules to there home viewers and promote there own domestic competition this is a realy good idea

  3. jannerboyuk says:

    News from the USARL is that their players are definitely excluded from playing for the tomahawks. Time for the RLIF to intervene. How can one league claim to to be the governing body for an entire sport? It’s a disgrace to be honest that the interest of the national side can be sacrificed for a turf war.
    (thats fixed up easy enough 😉 )

    • druzik says:

      It is a tragedy… I am curious to see if any players will go back over to the AMNRL? (prob not) and if there will be a rival national team set up to play say the IRLF Italian team or something?

      Some interesting times ahead.

    • druzik says:

      Yeah, basically their facebook response.

      Well good on them for pressing ahead.

      Though two things they have to correct.

      1. Its the Ireland A team. I have spoken with a couple of the RLI guys and they saif there wont be any super leagie or NRL players. It will be the wolfhounds which play in the Home nations tournament.

      2. Can this be considered a full international and thus a test match? If it were me I would but, under the current “rules” i am not sure?

  4. jannerboyuk says:

    According to the philly fight they have 3 games scheduled against three new teams! In boston, new jersey and rhode island.
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/FightRugby?sk=app_2344061033

  5. jannerboyuk says:

    A Utah Avanlanche has been mentioned on the usarl fb page as well.

  6. jannerboyuk says:

    Interesting that in the Jamaican Hurricaines press release they say they are planning to join ‘one of the two semi-pro comps’. http://www.totalrl.com/forums/index.php/topic/213879-hurricanes-hit-jamaica/page__pid__2207807#entry2207807
    Just wish both sides could sit down and work things out otherwise some great opportnities are going to be put at risk. Any news from the Canadians Druzik?

  7. Interested Observer says:

    The following is a press release I have seen floating around.

    Philadelphia Fight Rugby News and Press

    February 18, 2011 For Immediate Release: The USARL Board of Directors (BOD) is pleased to announce the ratification of the initial draft of the USA Rugby League Constitution that was adopted as the cornerstone for the unified future of Rugby League. The constitution draft addressed all current league issues, yet has been developed to allow modification and additions to be added by a BOD as the USARL and Rugby League expands and grows in the United States. The foundation of the constitution (that will soon be released publicly) is to hold Rugby League as its focus, yet also be progressive and thus allow for the long terms future growth of the sport in an even changing and developing market.

    The BOD has also implemented a “minimum standard of operations” that clubs must be able to meet in order to participate at the “Top Tier” level of competition. This standard includes commitment to travel as the Rugby League expands in geography, venue selection and facilities as well as basic club commitments such as websites and social media. The BOD agreed that the time has come to place “levels” of participation in order to accomplish the two most important goals of the USARL, to increase the standard of play and club operations, as well as ensuring an avenue is created to assist and develop new clubs and expansion regions. All members of the USARL embrace the basic concept of allowing all clubs to grow and prosper to their maximum potential, whilst ensuring a “no club excluded or left behind” attitude is embraced for developing teams and regions.

    Due to the implementation of the new standards for Top Tier teams for the 2011 USARL Season, the decision was made to move the Pittsburgh and Fairfax teams to “developmental” clubs. Both teams had expressed the challenges they faced during 2010 that had led them to either forfeit of games or limited financial support to field their most competitive teams. Pittsburgh noted the travel and local venues as their biggest 2011 concerns, while the Fairfax Eagles also had the additional burden of competing on the same geographical market as the DC Slayers. Both Clubs with the support of the USARL have decided that their best option is to join the USARL as “Clubs under development” during 2011, giving themselves a year to find more suitable venues, financial revenue streams and sponsors along with developing their player rosters by attending a limited number of games and Rugby League events throughout the year. The USARL will continue to offer all their resources in sponsor proposals, player development, coaching assistance and progress in officials to ensure the clubs are ready for entry in the 2012 competition. In essence the both the Pittsburgh Sledgehammers and the newly named Alexandria Storm will focus on all development aspects as a full member club but reduce their costs with limited travel and limited needs on venue rentals. (Note: The Fairfax Eagles will move to Alexandria in the Northern Virginia area to ensure less conflict and competition with the DC Slayers. The more developed Fairfax players have agreed to join the DC Slayers team and thus strengthen that team. The DC Slayers should become a formidable force in the 2011 USARL season).

    There are also three (3) additional clubs that have been formed and are able to commit to the minimum operating needs.

    – The “Turnpike Titans” will operate from the Northern New Jersey area just outside of Manhattan (NY)

    – Oneida FC club from Boston will operate under the watchful eye of the Boston 13s management team, yet as a separate club.

    – The Rhode Island Rebellion (formerly NY Kodiaks) will operate from Providence Rhode Island.

    This move allows for a better venue due to the limited access available in the Manhattan (NY) area. It also puts a forth club in the region along with the NH Warrior and both Boston clubs.

    Having four clubs in the region has allowed for lowered travel costs and the ability for the two Boston teams to share some resources such as venues. These are two key factors in lowering overall operating costs, thus providing additional teams and playing numbers.

    The official teams who will compete in the Inaugural USARL Championship as

    USARL Full member teams: (commit to travel to any location and guarantee no forfeits)

    Philadelphia Fight
    Jacksonville Axemen
    New Haven Warriors
    Boston 13s
    Oneida FC (Boston)
    Rhode Island Rebellion (Providence RI)
    DC Slayers
    New Jersey Turnpike Titans (Rutgers)
    The USARL has also been approached by, and will offer any available support for the following regions.

    – Denver Wolverines (Colorado)

    – Utah Avalanche (Utah)

    – Seattle Force (Washington State)

    – Orange County Outlaws (California)

    – Texas Rugby League

    These teams and regions are considered developmental areas that will be supported with as many resources as the USARL can provide. They will include support in sponsor proposal development, coaching and official development, league wide sponsorship deals, web-based and social media support as well as options to play a limited amount of games via tournament inclusion and potential regional representative side games. The USARL will support them with their efforts to develop both a regional competition that will be comprised of local area teams or the formation of a team from their area to compete in the USARL in future years.

    The 2011 official USARL Schedule is due to be released by the end of February and it will start with the Inaugural Philadelphia 9’s on the May 28/29 weekend.

  8. Interested Observer says:

    Sorry druzik, I didn’t see that thread/post by you when I posted/replied with the above press release. I can now see it on my iphone but it does not appear in my news stories at all on the computer, even today. Not sure why.

  9. Interested Observer says:

    Just worked out why I hadn’t seen it before, the news story you posted appears in the domestic page not the international news.

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