Ireland and Rhinos Join Europe while Saudis Land in Lebanon

By Various

Today, some great news from around the world with the re-emergence of the Dutch in Europe as a recognised playing nations and the South Africans have also entered the RLEF. Also Resultys from Jamaica and Saudi Arabia have landed in Lebanon for an U18s international.




From Phil Caplan

The South African Rugby League and Nederlandse Rugby League Bond have both been recognised by the Rugby League European Federation, following a Board Meeting in Leeds.

South African Rugby League, already a Full Member of the Rugby League International Federation, was accepted at the same level by the RLEF.

Nederlandse Rugby League Bond is now recognised as Holland’s national governing body, gaining Observer status and ending a six-year vacuum.

“At SARL we feel that there is more logic associating with our northern hemisphere partners,” said Kobus Botha, president of the SARL Board, which is now made up of the chairmen of seven active provinces. “Membership to the RLEF allows us to start playing against progressively stronger nations as we develop the sport in South Africa.”

Rugby league in Holland has had a chequered history. The original governing body, the NNRLB, was formed in 2003. It hosted the first qualifying match of the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, playing Russia in April 2006, and previously kicked off the European Cup – a nine-team tournament – when facing Georgia at home in April 2005.

But such international exposure did not translate into a durable domestic programme something the NRLB, formed in 2009, is seeking to rectify. Already a registered association in Holland and having successfully secured Leonardo da Vinci programme funding for its coach and match official development, the NRLB’s steady approach has given Dutch rugby league a stable platform from which to grow.

“The NRLB is very excited to be given the chance to re-join the RLEF,” said chairman Jason Bruygoms. “It has given us a real incentive and momentum. We believe we are heading in the right direction, focusing on grass roots rugby league which is fundamental in creating sustainability and a rugby league culture, which are two of our main focuses.”

RLEF Chairman Richard Lewis was keen to acknowledge the contribution of both nations, although at different ends of the RLEF member spectrum. “South Africa represents a traditionally powerful rugby country and the energy the newly elected SARL Board has demonstrated should result in enduring growth for rugby league,” he noted. “Africa represents a strategic territory for our sport, more so now than ever before following our recognition by the Commonwealth Games Federation, and I look forward to working with SARL at both national and continental levels.”

“At the Observer level, it’s encouraging to see the methodical approach the NRLB has made in mapping its formal return to the European rugby league family. A signatory to the RLEF Technical Strategy and with a clear aim to develop the sport among locals, theirs is an admirable and sensible model,” he added.

Mico University College Ease Past Portmore Community College in Inter-col Rugby League Championship

From Romeo Monteith

Mico 48 def. PCC 18

(Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2012)

Gc Foster College Grounds Bowl, 4pm

A powerful 5 try haul from giant centre Astil Johnson led Mico University College to a comfortable 48-18 victory over Portmore Community College on Tuesday afternoon. Johnson, standing at 6’4 was like a man possessed as he smashed his way to 3 tries in the first half and then added two more in the second. He was well supported by Romaen Campbell (3) and Oshane Eddie (1), both of whom scored their tries in the second half. Eddie kicked 5 conversions, while Kennard Woolery kicked one.

For Portmore, Lamar Uffar, Kieve Parkinson and speedster Phillipn Murary all scored tries, while hooker Leon Thomas kicked 3 conversions. The game was interestingly poised at 20-12 for Mico at halftime after Johnson bullied his way to three top class tries in the first 20 minutes of the game. Portmore hit back strongly with tries from Murray and Parkinson, with Thomas making the conversions. They should have closed the gap further as they had Mico on the ropes for the final 15 minutes of the first half; however, poor ball handling skills saw much of their good works undone.

Mico returned in the second half a more composed outfit and led by the experienced Campbell and Eddie systematically broke down the resolve of a feisty Portmore team. Campbell, playing at hooker, had his way up the middle of the park and notched his hat trick from clever dummy half plays close to the line. Meanwhile, Eddie with his trade mark elusive foot work regularly broke down Portmore’s defense out wide and feed Johnson at centre, who bullied his way to 2 additional tries before full time

The competition continues on Thursday at the Mona Bowl, when the University of the West Indies will welcome the University of Technology at 4pm.


From Phil Caplan

The first Under-18s rugby league international in the Middle East and North Africa region will take place on Friday when Lebanon host the Saudi Select in Beirut.

Lebanon coach, Robin Hacahache, is eagerly anticipating the clash. “The boys are anxiously looking forward to Friday’s game, we will be fielding an experienced and skilful Under-18s side,” he said.  “Most of the players have come through from the last years Under-16s squad.”

The same progression is true of the visiting KSA squad with skipper Hasan Zakzouk noting, “We have been working hard in preparation and feel this is strongest team [at any age group] we have taken to Beirut.”

The Camels coaching staff of David Kinkead, Wayne Stewart and Chris Stander are also confident of success. “In the team’s two warm-up matches we have seen them go from strength to strength and in the last match play some fast, free-flowing rugby league,” Head Coach Kinkead added.

The Saudi travelling contingent contains five uncapped players in a squad selected from over 50 who attended trials in Jeddah. The most experienced, Farid Abdulwahab, spent two weeks in the summer training with the Warrington Wolves Academy.
Remond Safi, the MENA Regional Director, is delighted with the progress being made in the region.  “We are seeing the organic growth of the sport.’” He commented.

“The Lebanese now have U14s, U16s, U18s, U20s and open age national sides. We have seen the KSA going from U14s and U16s to expanding their growth to U18s and hopefully they will have U20s next year. I anticipate seeing the other MENA Nations involved in the U18s ranks next year.”

Lebanon Under-18s training squad:

Brian Hajjar (Sabis ), Aref Barakeh ( Universal  school of Lebanon Koura). Zaher Khatib  (ACTEL), Karim Mekasy, Khaled Mekari, Peter Fahed, George Yazbeck, Fadi Ghoulan, Rouh Nasr, George Farah, Thomas Zachariou, (Balamand High), Maxime Chalhoub, Ali Kanj, Sadecc Choucaire ( Broumina High School), George Meneem (Chekka High School), Jad Risk (College Melkart), Mohammad Dahbache, Adam Dahbache (David Karam Educational Centre of Lebanon), Yehya El Hssien (Ecole Technique De Abi Samra), Ayman Akl, Liam Laba Chedrawi, Carl Barroud & Ralph Takchi (International School Hamra), Jihad Hamwi (Iman Pilot School), Nabil Moussawel, Charbel Chidiac, Pierre Mallouhi, Elio Mallouhi  (International School El Koura), Cyril Irani, Anthony Attieh (College Notre Dame De Jamhour), Jad Risk of (Lycee Franco Libanais), Cyril Abi Aad (Saint Joseph school), Ramzi Sfeir  (Saint Joseph), Hassan Allouch, Samer Shymasem, Nour EL Baba, Tarek Merehby, Omar Allat (Namouzaj School Tripoli), Zakaria Ammar, Khaled El Masri, Mahomad Hassan, Omar Marhaba, (Amer Fahkr El dine), Jamil el Rawi, Bassel Tlaji, Mohammed Talji, Abdel Karim About, (Ziehrieh High School)

Saudi Select Under-18s squad:

Abdulraouf Abbas, Ahmed El Obeid, Farid Abdulwahab, Hasan Zakzouk (c), Hisham Nassar, Liam McRaith, Mazin Ghobara, Mohammed Mannaa, Nawaf Al Qudaibi, Omer Rathore, Osama Abdullah, Saeed Anam, Salman Abualnasr, Samer Balaa, Usman Naveed, Yousef Safadi, Zander Potgeiter

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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18 Responses to “Ireland and Rhinos Join Europe while Saudis Land in Lebanon”

  1. Rick Farr says:

    South Africa now join Canada, Jamaica and Lebanon as members (in some form) of the RLEF which aren’t actually part of Europe. Will the US be next, or should I say the AMNRL.

  2. Chris Sanders says:

    The Poms look after the Northern Hemisphere and Australia is suppose to look after the Southern Hemisphere!
    I don’t know what they really do??

    • druzik says:

      Well they look after the Isles, the RLEF does not get funded by the RFL anymore, they are self funding now as I understand it.

      Australia… well yes, no one knows what they really do to further the game.

  3. Rick Farr says:

    Technically Lebanon is part of Asia, so the RLEF has members from Europe, Asia, Africa and America. They just need an Australasian nation to join and they’ll have a global rugby league federation.

    But isn’t there one already? Might as well have two, seems to be the done thing in Rugby League admin – (AMNRL and USARL, the two Italian Leagues, Capetown vs rest of Sth Africa…..)

    • druzik says:

      Oh … please do not open that can of worms! lol

      • Rick Farr says:

        Maybe you should have two blogs Dru, then you can start an online war with yourself on twitter and facebook.

        Just out of interest, last night I tried drawing an organizational chart for the RLIF and other federations. It ended up looking very messy, chains of command are unclear and boundaries overlap.

        Now the RLIF are in the news for not paying the Kangaroos their winners bonus for the 4 nations. Keep the pressure on them Dru, there needs to be reform.

  4. Chris Sanders says:

    Rick Farr!Take over from Scott Carter as Boss of the RLIF cas he knows nothin about the game!

  5. Chris Sanders says:

    And that’s the whole point Rick Farr!The whole game is in one big mess and we haven’t got the right people on the RLIF to get us out of this one big mess and Scott Carter heading it is also one big joke!!
    Where’s their 10 year plan yet I have seen one from the IRB as well as FIFA!

  6. Rick Farr says:

    Chris you know some of the principle players in the RLIF and RLEF, is there going to be any conflict between the two bodies? It seems that the RLEF is expanding simply because there is a vacuum to fill, with no real organisation in Africa and the Americas (and the Middle East still getting their act together).

    So it makes sense in at least one regard that nations that aren’t anywhere near Europe join the European body. South Africa are going to be quite lonely for awhile otherwise.

    But what happens when the regional bodies eventually develop, will the RLEF want to relinquish the territories they are continually adding?

  7. Chris Sanders says:

    Rick Farr!I have no confidence in either the RLIF and RLEF!Carter is the wrong person to head the RLIF as he knows nothing about the game,has no people skills and is an ex-cop and we have had plenty of cops,ex-cops,lawyers,judges and accountants stuffing up the whole game in the past!
    These people aren’t genuine Rugby League people unlike the Rugby Union people who know how to make things work for their game!
    Rugby League has the worst crop of administrators ever in the whole history of our game and if you shot one another 6 would pop up equally as bad!
    Over the years I have had plenty of dealings with many Rugby League administrators,going back to the late 60’s and John Quayle was the best by a country mile,who could relate to the people at the grassroots as the current mob don’t want to know!
    He pushed the right buttons,yet we haven’t got the right people in the corridors of power pushing any buttons for the betterment of Rugby League!
    Until there are personel changes at the top Rick,nothing will ever happen.

  8. Rick Farr says:

    Has anybody put any thought into an online petition to campaign for reform of the RLIF?

    And it isn’t just the personal that need to change, it’s the whole system of governance and administration.

    • druzik says:

      Yes, these have happened a lot over the years and nothing has come of them unfortunately.

      Not sure what a petition will really achieve.

      • Rick Farr says:

        Would you say that these petitions have been ineffective because of a lack of support for reform? Or are they simply ignored by the RLIF?

        I would guess that mainstream media exposure is the only way a petition would have any influence, and only if it had strong support. Bad PR can affect an organization such as the RLIF if sponsors, Govt agencies etc become involved.

        But you’re probably right Dru, I was just throwing the idea out there.

  9. Cheyne Maher says:

    Great news Dan, i have been saying for a while that South Africa should take this pathway and ultimately play in a “region” including the likes of Lebanon and Morocco etc. They would provide Lebanon with a genuine challenger at the top level if the MENA expanded to a “MEGA” region ie Middle East and Greater Africa as opposed to Middle East and Northern Africa. Also makes sense logistically as in the travelling distance to such countries is shorter than to the USA. Very positive development for RL in South Africa – one that could really see them reach their potential with more regular games etc

    Interesting comment above Rick about whether the RLEF will want to relinquish their control. Looking at their technical strategy it seems that while they are overseeing tournys in the Americas and MENA at the moment, they are trying to keep them seperate from the rest of Europe so i would speculate that they are simply helping them in the short term (admin wise) but are trying to set up these seperate regions so that eventually they may form their own fully run body!? That would make sense once they are sustainable

  10. Chris Sanders says:

    Vote people out Rick Farr!

    • Rick Farr says:

      Who gets to vote though Chris? We come back to the RLIF governance model which allows those like Gallop with clear conflicts of interest to control the whole process. The RLIF in it’s current form is self-regulatory.

  11. Chris Sanders says:

    Well!Time to join a Rugby League Club in your area Rick Farr and progress up the ladder that way or if you know a rich tycoon get him into Rugby League.
    I hear Clive Palmer has had a gutsful of A-League Soccer and says that it’s a hopeless game and that Rugby league is a far better game.
    That’s the type of person to fire up International Rugby league.
    Not only talk but action!

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