News from Around the World

By Daniel Andruczyk and Others

Some more International news this week. This time from Malta and Singapore and the USA. Also a bit of a change of pace from the usual things, I lost my USA-pro-sport-inity this week.


From Anthony Micallef

Malta rugby league internationals Clifford Debattista and Roderick Attard and MRL official Anthony Micallef have returned from London following an intense coaching course under the auspices of the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) at Brunel University.

Attard completed the course as part of his rehabilitation following a two year anti-doping ban handed down to the 26-year-old in March 2010.

malta coaches with code13

The Maltese coaches were among a delegation of more than 19 countries including the USA, Jamaica, Italy and Russia; and worked with leading coaching development staff from England’s Rugby Football League (RFL) as well as spending time with England head coach Steve McNamara, former Ireland coach Andy Kelly and a host of ex professional players.

The coaches, two based in Malta and one in Gozo, completed their time abroad as guests at Twickenham Stoop for Harlequins’ Super League clash against Hull FC before completing a post match analysis with Harlequins head coach Rob Powell.

Former NRL Star Backs Rugby League for Singapore

By Steve Bartlett

Amid the splendour of the Marina Bay Sands, Development Officer and City Roosters member Stephen Bartlett had the opportunity to meet with Colin Fraser, former St George Dragons player, to discuss the plans for the code here.


SRL Development Officer Steve Bartlett (left) with Colin Fraser

Having played more than two hundred first grade games during his career he became involved in the establishment of the Perth based Super League side in the mid-90’s so certainly knows a thing or two about establishing rugby league in new places.

During the meeting Colin expressed his excitement at the developments being made and how good it was to see so many local lads wanting to give it a go with the expatriate Europeans and Antipodeans.

Colin has followed his career as a high quality forward with a career in Sports marketing and has a number of ideas for the growth of the game in Singapore which are being discussed prior to the competition roll out in March 2012.

With the State of Origin series fast approaching it would be a good time for those interested in playing to meet up, down a few schooners and watch what is always a highlight of the rugby league calendar.

There will be a meet and greet session held soon, with plans for the inaugural SRL competition, and training sessions for each four teams, to be explained.

Details to follow!

New Zealand Rugby coming to Jacksonville

From Jacksonville Axemen

After a great visit to Jacksonville in 2008, that saw the Axemen go down to the New Zealand side 52 to 16, the Fencibles will return to the North Florida city due to the wonderful experience and warm welcome they received on their last trip. And this time the Axemen have been joined by a host of local teams and organizations in an effort to show the international law enforcement athletes how great Jacksonville really is.

The team arrives into the Jacksonville International Airport on may 19th and will be hosted as VIP’s that evening by Whisky River for the Alive After 5 concert that goes from 5pm till 9pm (the concert is free and open to the Public). The HAKA will be performed live for the crowd by the New Zealand team at about 7.30pm between the live band sets.

Saturday (May 21) the team will take part in a social game of Cricket in the morning that has been arranged by Rahgu Misra of the American Cricket Academy before being hosted by the Jacksonville Suns for their Southern League Baseball game against the Birmingham Barons. The Suns fans will also have an opportunity to see the HAKA live, in what will be a very unique experience at a baseball ground. The Suns game starts at 7pm with the Haka headlining the pre-game ceremonies.

Sunday (May 22nd) the Jacksonville Axemen will be joined by some local JSO Officers as the team takes on the New Zealanders at Hodges Stadium at UNF. Kick off is planned by 2pm with the Axemen having to face the HAKA before the game gets underway.
The post game social function will be at Time Out Sports Grill following the game and all fans and supporters are encouraged to join both teams and show the visitors a warm welcome.

Monday (May 23) Carrabbas Italian Grill will host the Fencibles for a lunch that will also include some representatives of those teams and groups who helped make the visit such a success. This will be an opportunity to exchange some gifts and strengthen the relationships between the nations via the great sport of Rugby League.

Tuesday (May 24) the Jacksonville Jaguars will take the visitors on a behind the scenes tour of the NFL facilities and give them an insight into the day to day life of an American Football Player in the National Football League.

The team will then depart on Wednesday for Philadelphia where they will compete in the USA Rugby League 9’s Tournament that is being hosted by the Philadelphia Fight club.

“Is there any wonder why international teams continue to come to Jacksonville”, said Spinner Howland. “The people of Jacksonville, the businesses and even the other sporting organizations have done so much and shown such incredible hospitality to all the overseas teams that have visited. When a Rugby League team, a Baseball Team, an NFL Team and even a cricket organization can come together under the name “Jacksonville” to show international sports teams a warm welcome, that does amazing things for the city. These guys tell everyone around the world how great their experience was and that encourages more and more teams to consider Jacksonville as a travel destination. We are very proud to be apart of that.”

More details about the New Zealand Fencibles visit will be released over the coming week.

A Change of Pace

So a bit of a change from Rugby League, occasionally I like to talk about my experience at other sporting events. Last year I experienced College Football, and this time first Pro Sport game. Yesterday I went to Wrigley Field in Chicago to see my first game of Major League Baseball.

Now I have to say that on TV I really struggle to follow Baseball. Many people, have said that its quite a slow boring sport. However being at the game I have to say its anything but. I was amazed at how quickly the turn over of pitches is. It certainly is a faster paced game than Cricket and I include 20-20 in that.

The game I saw was the Chicago Cubs against the St Louis Cardinals, two very bitter rivals from the years. Even though the Cubs aren’t doing well this season they still get the faithful in. However this game they managed to bring the hurt and really give the Cardinals (who are on top) a good thrashing. The only disappointing thing was that there were no home runs in the game, though a couple cam close.


Wrigley Field is a beautiful old stadium. Built in 1914 is reminds me in many ways of the SCG Members stand and the Adelaide Oval and some of the older Rugby League grounds. Leichardt Oval is one that comes to mind.

Now I am not sure there is anything here that I can relate to back to Rugby League, however the way MLB works is that the two teams play 3 days in a row and each day will see the stadiums filled out. How is it that you can manage that yet we struggle in Rugby league to even sell 10,000 in some instances?

Either way, it was an awesome night out. Live Baseball is thoroughly enjoyable, a great time. If you love cricket then Baseball should be no problem for you to get into. For the record The Chicago Cubs beat the Cardinals 11-4

Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H
St Louis Cardinals 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 9
Chicago Cubs 0 0 6 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 17


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