German Rugby League President in Australia

By Daniel Andruczyk

Rugby League Deutschland President, Simon Cooper, has been in Australia over April and May learning from NRL clubs on how to help develop the sport in Germany. I caught up with him for Rugby League Review and Rugby League International Scores while he was in Sydney.

While in Sydney, Simon has seen many NRL matches to get a feel for what the sport is like on a big scale. However Simon is no stranger to professional rugby league having played for Halifax in England himself. Simons trip to Australia will be memorable for more reasons than just Rugby League, he got engaged to his girlfriend Kathi in the Whitsundays.

I met up with Simon when he was in Sydney and went out to the Parramatta v Cronulla game. I asked him how he found the NRL and Rugby League in general here in Australia “ It’s been great, every game and stadium we have been to has been different, gives you a great feel for the sport in the country” he said. He saw the Cowboys v Melbourne match and was so impressed by the Storm “they are just something else aren’t they, the NRL teams are great but Melbourne are just a cut above everyone”. But it wasn’t just the NRL he watched. Simon saw QLD cup and Country Rugby League matches as well.

Coops Daniel Andruczyk (left) and Simon Cooper (right) at Parramatta Stadium

Aside from watching the odd match or two, Simon has been in contact with clubs and while in Brisbane and Sydney has managed to meet with Brisbane, South Sydney and Saint George/Illawarra team officials. This was organised through the RLIF development officer Tas Baitieri who also managed to get Simon tickets to State of Origin so he can experience Rugby League on its second biggest stage.

At the Parramatta v Sharks match exposure for the German Rugby League was given a boost with Daniel Andruczyk organising for Simon some air time with Steve Mascord and the ABC Grandstand radio team before the match.

However the most important question posed for Simon was what the state of German Rugby League is now? “Well, unfortunately we have received less funding this year because of the GFC, but despite this we have a full domestic and international schedule.” He said. Recently Rugby League Deutschland were able to be registered and so this means they can get a tax number and start to really hit up the sponsors. On top of that Simon said “We have three 9s tournaments this year and then a domestic season with teams based on the states or regions. This is very exciting and on top of that there is the European Shield tournaments where we take on the Czechs and Serbia once again.”

When asked what Germany needs to do to secure its future he said that it is its juniors, they need to invest in juniors and make sure that they have a constant supply coming up through the ranks, this will happen over time however. But there was a more pressing question I had for Simon and that was about his own international playing future “One more year and that is it. I’ll play on for Germany till the end of next year and then retire. I can concentrate 100% on running Rugby League Deutschland then” He said.

Over all things are looking positive in Germany with the sport growing each year. There will be 7 teams in the 9s tournaments from Germany and will be joined by teams from the UK, Czech Republic and Netherlands. Exposure for these countries in the largest Rugby League market is essential as well as support for the International game. I am sure everyone wishes Simon and Rugby League Deutschland well.

Germany Season Preview


  • 19 June 2010 – Heidelberg 9s (Ingoldstadt, Bad Reichenhall, Duisburg, Koln, Calbach, Kaizerslautern, Heidelberg and overseas teams)
  • 31 July 2010 – Calbach 9s (as above)
  • 7 August 2010 –Ingoldstadt 9s (as above)
  • 10/11 July – Championships (Bayern, Nord Rhein Westphalen, Hessen, Rheinland Pfalz)


  • 18 June 2010 – Germany vs. Netherlands – Heidelberg, Germany
  • 3 July 2010 – Serbia vs. Germany – Belgrade, Serbia
  • 17 July 2010 – Germany vs. Czech Republic – Kaiserslautern, Germany
Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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