This weekend, the Ukrainians have arrived in the UK for a two game tour. This is exciting that they get to do a tour. They will be playing BARLA. Also a big congratulations to Apple Pope who won the RLIF’s USA Player of the Year award.
On the eve of their fifth birthday, the Ukraine Rugby League side have arrived for a two game tour. They face Heworth on Sunday and Leeds University next Wednesday.
The idea of the tour came from BARLA who have sent their under 23 side to the Ukraine twice in the past three years, making strong friendships and offering to support the Eastern European’s development where they could.
“We are very much looking forward to hosting the Ukraine on their first UK Tour. It is a fantastic opportunity for our students to experience international opposition,” said Carl Brown, LUU BUCS Sports Administrator.
Artur Martyrosyan, the Ukranian driving force and coach cannot wait to kick off. “We can`t wait to descend on English soil and take on a challenge against English teams. It`s been a dream of mine for a few years and now it`s coming to light and that feels great.”
Julia Bennison, Eastern Europe Regional Director of the Rugby League European Federation explained more about the Tour. “We appreciate how much effort, courage and finance went into making the trip happen on the Ukrainian side. Together with both hosting sides and others who have offered their support, we will do everything we can to make the experience worthwhile and enjoyable for them.”
The Ukrainian tourists get a unique opportunity to watch the Gillette Four Nations double-header at Wembley tomorrow at the start of their visit.
They will have coaching assistance from England Student Coach Gareth Pratt in preparation for their matches, town hall Receptions in Filey and Scarborough and will be looked after by referee and hotel proprietor Gary Owram.
Bennison added, “I have worked with Ukraine RL from day one of their establishment and it`s a great pleasure to watch them progress, this is another vital step in their development.”
Heworth v Ukraine at ARLFC Elmpark Way, Heworth, 6th November, 2pm kick-off
University of Leeds Students v Ukraine at Weetwood Playing Fields, Leeds, 9th November, 2pm kick-off
Following an intense training session at Leigh Miners ARLFC on Wednesday 2nd November BARLA Great Britain Under 23’s Head Coach Kevin Thompson and his Assistant Mick Fishwick have names a nineteen man squad to face the Ukraine Under 23’s at Heworth ARLFC on Sunday 6th November 2.00pm.
This is likely to be a fiery and fierce game with Ukraine looking to make an impression on their first visit ever representative game in this country.
There will be a minutes applause prior to the game following the passing this week of Cumbria’s John Pattinson the Vice Chair of BARLA, Chairs of the International and Three Counties Committees, BARLA Representative to the Community Board, Secretary of Cumberland Amateur Rugby League and a stalwart of the game in Cumbria for many years.
The Great Britain squad which will be captained by Cumbria’s John Paul Brocklebank is made up of a further seven players Cumbrians, six from Yorkshire and five Lancashire.
Head Coach Kevin Thompson
“I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of us on Sunday when we take on the Ukraine Under 23’s and will be interesting to see how they have developed since the last trip by BARLA to the Ukraine. We will be giving them the respect they deserve and won’t be underestimating them.
“I have made Cumbria’s John Paul Brocklebank the skipper of a young and inexperienced side at international level. I saw in person what he could do first hand when he played for BARLA Great Britain in Perth earlier this year and the Tri Series against Yorkshire three weeks ago. He’s in terrific form and leads by example.
“The game is tinged with sadness after the news of the passing of John Pattinson in Australia this week and the minute’s applause before the game is going to be pretty emotional for everyone who knew and it is a sad loss to the game as a whole.”
The BARLA Great Britain Under 23’s Squad:
Admission for the game at Heworth ARLFC is Adults £3, Concessions £1
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