It’s That Time of Year Again – International Rugby League!


Today its all about the international game. Its that time of the year, the most exciting time as far as I am concerned. So much to catch up on. First a couple promises I have to come through one and then updated on the World Cup qualifiers and the latest developments in European membership.

International Rugby League Club

From Ryan Norman

One of the great things about the last 5 years is seeing the huge interest in international Rugby League and its growth. One of the best websites and developments that we have seen happen in recent times is supporters clubs like Rugby League Planets International Rugby League Club. This is a great way for you, the average supporter, who wonders how they can help international Rugby League develop to actually have a hand in such a thing. So the latest round of membership applications for this is now open.


If you want to help and contribure then contact Ryan Norman at .

The Most Brutal Sport in the world comes to SoCal?  An interview with the OC Outlaws

Written by Vincent McLeod IV

Rugby league is a full contact sport played by two teams of thirteen players on a rectangular grass field.One of the two codes of rugby football, it originated as a split from the Rugby Football Union in England in 1895 over the issue of payments to players.  Its rules were then gradually changed in order to produce a more entertaining game that would appeal to spectators.  A game that is closer resembling to American Football then Rugby Union, it has been cited numerous times as the most brutal sport for 80 minutes of play.  Any game that has 13 beasts colliding at full speed with no pads in the hopes of scoring countless tries (touchdowns only this once folks) is a sport we can cite as truly insane and heroic.  SCRN caught with the President and Chairman of the OC Outlwas RLFC, Mr. Fred Lewis, to get his take on Rugby League in SoCal and the future prospects to the spectator friendly game.

For the full interview visit the website here.


From Phil Caplan

Ukraine has become the latest nation to receive Membership of the Rugby League European Federation. The Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League has been an Observer since 2008 and has overseen significant growth in the numbers playing the sport since, with 2011 being their busiest year.

RLEF Chairman Richard Lewis commented, “It is terrific to see the progress rugby league is making in the Ukraine and everyone involved should be congratulated. To have the UFRL added to our list of Affiliate Members is another boost for the international game”.

From its origins, in the industrial cities of Kharkov and Donetsk in east Ukraine, rugby league is now also played at open age level in Dnepropetrovsk and, since earlier this year, the capital Kiev. It is shown on Ukrainian television by channels Sport-1 and Sport-2 and, in another major development this year, in schools in Donetsk, Avdeevka, Yasinovataya, Krasnoarmeysk, Sevastopol, Feodosiya, Kharkiv and Dnepropetrovsk.

UFRL president Anatoly Pokroyev said, “During our recent visit to Serbia we were absolutely delighted to hear the news that our application for Affiliate Membership was successful. It took our federation five years of hard work which by no means should slow down now as we understand that the new status means new challenges for us.”

“In order to make rugby league a popular sport in Ukraine we have not only worked hard on spreading the game. We intend to carry on in that direction by focusing more on youth development as well as making our community more familiar with this fast and rugged game through the media. We have a lot of courage and no intention to stop.”

Pokroyev and his fellow board members are currently negotiating with the Ukrainian government to officially recognise the sport and the federation – a process in which RLEF Membership plays an important role. The RLEF directors’ decision will be formally ratified at their next board meeting, in Avignon on 21 October.


From Phil Caplan

RUSSIA have landed in Italy ahead of the opening tie of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup European Zone Qualifiers, in Padova on Saturday.

The Bears arrive as something of an unknown quantity having undergone administrative change in 2010 but with input from, first, Stuart Wilkinson and now Rochdale coach and former St Helens favourite John Stankevitch, they feel ready for the fray.

There is no lack of confidence or sense of purpose within the squad after a series of training camps in Russia over the last few months which has focussed on physical and mental toughness.

“We’ve developed, together with Stuart Wilkinson, a programme to enhance the physical and emotional condition of our players and to stabilize our offensive and defensive models,” says the Russian Association of Rugby League president, Edgard Taturyan. “Bearing in mind that there aren’t any pro players in Russia it has been a big job, but we think that mentally the team is ready for the qualifiers.”

The Bears will draw on the experience of a clutch of capped players led by 31-year-old player/coach Eduard Ososkov and their stylish captain, stand-off Alexandr Lysokon. Other than that duo only Vadim Fedchuck, Andrey Zdobnikov, Vladimir Vlasyuk, and Sergey Konstantinov have represented Russia before.

Twenty four year old Lysokon must play well if Russia are to pose a threat to the Anthony Minichello-led Italians. He scored 24 of his side’s 36 points in Russia’s impressive victory over Ukraine last month and has a decade or more of rugby league behind him, having started playing in 1998 as a junior at Vereya, south of Moscow.

“We’re feeling pretty intense; all the boys are working really hard and we have a high team spirit,” said Lysokon, who will win his seventh cap on Saturday. “We’re determined to fight for victory in every game, but I think that a good achievement for us would be to make a real mark on the competition.”


From Phil Caplan

Russia player/coach Eduard Ososkov is determined to mix it with Italy’s NRL stars as the nations come together for the opening match of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup European Zone Qualifiers on Saturday. “Our goals before we start the tournament are high – otherwise there’s no reason even being here,” he said on arrival in Padova.

“We also think we can gain some important international experience which we’ve been missing over the last three-years.”

A change in administration of the sport has meant that the Bears, who played in the 2000 World Cup, arrive for their matches against Italy Lebanon and Serbia as very much the unknown quantity in the group.

“This will be our first experience against professional players and we are yet to see how our men express themselves. We will know better after the first match,” Ososkov continued.

There is, however, every incentive for progress. “To get to the World Cup Finals in 2013 would mean a lot including full recognition of our sport in Russia as well as being accepted by the Russian State Sports Register.”

His counterpart, Italy Head Coach Carlo Napolitano, is confident that his outfit will make an impact throughout the series.

“It is the strongest Italy side I have coached,” he said. “I think it is better than the one that played and won against Wales last year.”

“We had a strong squad in 1999 when myself and Mini (captain Anthony Minichiello) played and we beat France in Carcassonne. But I think the boys from the NRL will raise the bar for the others in the squad.”

He has named the 17-men to take on the Russians.

“We have a great bond between all the squad members. We are a unique squad with players living in France, England, Australia and from the domestic game here. The coaching staff and management worked very hard to establish a team ethic very quickly and this is something we have pride in. Our motto is Uno Famiglia – one family. It is a statement that the squad owns and takes pride in,” he continued.

“It would be nice to get a good crowd to the game in Padova, we are looking to fill the place. I don’t think you can get any better than watching a game of rugby league next to the romance capital of world , Venice.”


Matthew Sands (Grifons PD); Christophe Calegari (Lezignan); Dom Nasso (Monto); Matt Parrata (Mt Isa); Cameron Ciraldo (Newcastle Knights); Ryan Ghietti (Northern Pride); Joel Riethmuller (North Queensland Cowboys); Alex Ranieri (North Sydney Bears); Ryan Tramonte (St Patricks Blacktown); Anthony Minichiello (c) (Sydney Roosters); Ray Nasso, Cederic Prizzon (Villefranche de Rouergue); Ben Falcone (Wentworth); Rhys Lennarduzzi (Wests); Dean Vicelich, Rob Quitadamo (XIII del Ducato); Josh Mantellato (Wyong)


Andrey Zdobnikov (Dinamo), Grigory Esin (Nevskaya Zastava), Artem Grigoryan (RBK), Igor Chuprin, Vadim Fedchuk, Vladimir Gotsulyak, Alexey Volkov (Storm), Petr Botnarash, Rustam Bulanov, Mikhail Burlutskuy, Ilgiz Galimov, Sergey Gaponov, Sergey Konstantinov, Aleksander Lysokon, Alexey Nikolaev, Eduard Ososkov, Maksim Suchkov, Vladimir Vlasyuk (RC Vereya)




Via Phil Caplan

The American National Rugby League has named its 20-man squad for the opening match of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup Atlantic Zone qualifying series.

The USA Tomahawks host South Africa Rhinos in Game 1, this Saturday, in Philadelphia.

Their squad contains a blend of domestic and overseas based players, five of whom survive from the USA’s previous attempt to qualify for the World Cup in 2007. Curtis Cunz, David Marando, Mark Cantoni, Matty Petersen and Ryan McGoldrick all turned out for the Tomahawks during their unsuccessful campaign to advance to the 2008 World Cup.

However, head coach Matt Elliott, who was in charge in 2007, is confident the 2011 vintage is good enough to get the job done.

“We feel like we’ve got a fairly potent team and stronger squad, certainly more so than when the Tomahawks last played against Canada in September,” he said.

“We have very little preparation time so we’re doing what we can with what we’ve got but I really feel that we’ll make the best of it.”

The USA team will be captained by Apple Pope, who will be leading the Tomahawks for the seventh straight time since making his debut as skipper against Canada in September 2010.

The Rhinos arrived in Philadelphia today from Toronto, where they had a tough hit out against the Canadian Wolverines and the squad was positive after their emphatic 36 – 22 win.

Coach Steven van Zyl said, “The team is very excited about being part of this tournament and expect another tough match against the Tomahawks. We are looking forward to some great league against the USA and Jamaica.”

South African captain Andre Loader added, “The team is looking good, and getting their legs back after the long transit to get to Canada. It’s a privilege to represent your country and every player will be bringing their best game come match day”.


Michael Garvey, Andrew Kneisly (Aston Bulls), David Marando (Belrose Eages), Curtis Cunz (Connecticut Wildcats), Mark Offerdahl (Easts Tigers), Mitchell Stevens (Gateshead Thunder), Joshua Rice (Hawaii Islanders), Apple Pope (Jacksonville), Nate Smith (Louisville), Sione Taufa (Maui Voyagers), Ian Elliott, Justin Ripley, Sean Taylor (NY Knights), Mark Cantoni (Northern Pride), Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels), Junior Paulo (Penrith Panthers), Stephen Howard (Tuggeranong Valley), Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies), David Myles, Matt Petersen (unattached)


Henry du Toit, Stevie Meyer, Gerrie Slabber, Christoff Swanepoel (Bloemfontein Roosters, Orange Free State), Francois Greyvensteyn, Christo Joubert, Andre Loader, Andre Olwagen, Rudi Prinsloo (Brakpan Bears, Eastern Gauteng), Johan Fritz (Middelburg Tigers, Mpumalanga Province), Hans du Plessis, Riaan Engelbrecht, Deon Kraemer, Christo Louw, Sivive Mpondo, JP Nel, Pieter van der Nest, Marcelle Slabbert, Jonothan Soares, Rupert Wells (Tuks Bulls, Northern Gauteng)

RLWCQ Schedule – Philadelphia:

GAME 1 – USA v South Africa (Saturday, October 15, 2011)

GAME 2 – South Africa v Jamaica (Wednesday, October 19, 2011)

GAME 3 – USA v Jamaica (Sunday, October 23, 2011)


From Phil Caplan

France coach Bobbie Goulding has named a strong side for the Tricolours’ opening game of the autumn, against England Knights at Leigh, this Saturday (3pm)

Captained by Bradford’s Olivier Elima, Goulding is viewing it as the perfect preparation before his men face the senior England squad in Avignon a week on Friday, before Test Matches against Scotland and Ireland.

The only late change is that Cyrille Gossard comes in at second row for injured Andrew Bentley. Gossard is one of 13 Catalan Dragons in the 17 including a complete three quarter line and almost entire pack, with Melbourne Storm full back Dane Chisholm set to make his debut.

La composition du XIII de France:

  1. Dane Chisholm (Melbourne Storm)
  2. Vincent Duport (Catalan Dragons)
  3. Jean-Philippe Baile (Catalan Dragons)
  4. Sébastien Raguin (Catalan Dragons)
  5. Cyril Stacul (Catalan Dragons)
  6. Thomas Bosc (Catalan Dragons)
  7. Maxime Grésèque (Pia Donkeys)
  8. David Ferriol (Catalan Dragons)
  9. Grégory Mounis (Catalan Dragons)
  10. Rémi Casty (Catalan Dragons)
  11. Olivier Elima (Bradford Bulls) (C)
  12. Cyrille Gossard (Catalan Dragons)
  13. Jason Baitieri (Catalan Dragons)
  14. Eloi Pelissier (Catalan Dragons)
  15. Jamal Fakir (Catalan Dragons)
  16. Mickaël Simon (Catalan Dragons)
  17. Kane Bentley (Lézignan)
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