How to Deal with Israel? BARLA Press Release

By Daniel Andruczyk

So this week Israel Folau signed for AFL. Just like when Karmichael Hunt swapped there has been an outcry over why he did it etc… So how do we deal with players switching codes as a sport? The European Bowl is on Friday night and it features Malta and Norway. Details of how you can keep track of the scores will be given. Also a press release from BARLA in regard to Rugby League’s recent tragic loss.

Israel Folau

So Izzy took the money and ran. Well what can one say but “smart move” on his part. $1.5 million a year is serious money that can’t be knocked back. They always say everyone has a price. I am not so worried about the move as some are. He is only 21, he will play his 4 years and at 25 years old come back to League and have close to another 10 years in Rugby League. However reading all the various news wires there certainly is an outcry over his defection.

Fine! So I sat back and put myself in these peoples shoes and said “I am mad about this, what can be done to change things?” Well lets look at what the target for AFL is? It seems that the AFL want to target the Pacific islander community, that by grabbing a player that really has no ties to the community there and who plays for Australia and not one of the Pacific Nations. Everyone is saying why isn’t the NRL doing anything, why isn’t there more money to keep the players.

But looking at this I think there is one path that RUGBY LEAGUE can take, a path that AFL knows it doesn’t have and its why it is striking out. That is the international game. If you go to the Pacific Islands and indeed other nations around the world, aside from Soccer, Rugby is played on a fairly extensive scale. AFL barely exists. What little AFL there is, its played predominantly by ex-pat Victorians who play it just to remind themselves of home… I know I came across a few of them when I lived overseas. The Rugby codes at least have locally developed players that play for them and have international tournaments to play.

Internationals are the way to “save the game”. We seriously need to start moving towards having regular major competitions. Its only then do we retain the players who want to not only earn money playing a sport but represent their country, tour the world and experience cultures. AFL does not have this at all and having meaningful international tournaments like the Pacific Nations or the European Nations Cup’s where players have something to aim for and look forward to is the best incentive to have. To lift a World Cup trophy has got to be the best feeling and be worth more than just the money.

The AFL are targeting the Pacific Islander community, but without any International Pacific Island teams for their kids to play against they will not switch over. Yes Folau has bought them a bit of publicity now, but long terms it will do more harm than good, just look at the ARU post 2003.

European Bowl

On a much, much brighter note. Friday 4th of June sees the European Bowl tournament played. Malta and Norway make their full International Debuts. Both teams have played against touring sides in the past but this is the first full internationals using a majority of local players. Both teams have named their sides for Friday’s clash

MALTA: Shaun Bartlett, Mark Cortis, Paul Bartlett, Mark Seychell, Jurgen Pavanello, Chris Morton, Malcolm Attard, Chris Parker (VC), Charlie Bonanno, Paul Borg, Joss Howland, Clayton Cassar, Daniel Grima (C), Peter Bradley, Clifford Debattista, Graham Attard, Matthew Von Brockdorff, COACH Anthony Micallef

NORWAY: Glenn Patterson, T. Alexander Vindahl, Bjørn Mikkelsen, Fredrik Skovly (c), K.Ytterdahl Elgheim, Kristoffer Borsheim, Peter Engeland, Isaac Schmidt, Anders Linnestå, Magne Kleven, Cameron Leslie, Erik Sonny Mellor, E.Granly Meldalen, Erlend Loftesnes Røysum, J.W.S Hornby, Tommy Kjøniksen, Jørgen Lund Schmidt, COACH Warren Heilig

Rugby League International Scores is also excited to announce that it will be doing live score updates of the European Bowl. The game kicks off: 7 pm CET, 3 am AEST Saturday, 6 pm GMT


Malta v Norway
Friday 4 June 2010
Victor Tedesco Stadium, Hamrun
Gates open 6pm, Kick-off 7pm
For more information, visit

Live Scores

You can view the live scores on


BARLA sends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of former professional Rugby League player Garry Purdham who was killed yesterday in Whitehaven.

Garry Purdham, 31, was most recently a player with BARLA side Egremont Rangers former BARLA Great Britain Under 18’s and 21’s international who turned professional playing at Whitehaven and Workington Town.

BARLA Vice Chair John Pattinson of Maryport said,

“BARLA are extremely shocked and saddened to hear of the tragic events which occurred yesterday in Whitehaven and surrounding areas. Clearly a great number of Rugby League  people will be personally affected by these truly awful circumstances.

“We have players from the club who are currently involved with the BARLA Great Britain Lions Under 19s in South Africa and the BARLA Great Britain Under 23’s who have just flown out for their tour of Ukraine who have played with Gary this season.

“We will be informing the management of both those squads to inform those players and we will be asking for a minutes silence in respect of Garry’s passing prior to their next games this weekend.

“The thoughts of everyone at BARLA and within the Rugby League family are with Garry’s  and with the local West Cumbrian community at this difficult time were I live.”

Steve Manning

BARLA Media Manager

World League: The International Rugby League Show

Thanks for all the feedback from people. So there were a few thee thing problems but overall the reaction has been positive and any criticism has been very constructive so thank you to all. Next week there will be a discussion on the Folau and AFL issue so please do join us and join in the discussion.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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