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LeagueCulture shared Everything Rugby League's post. ... See MoreSee Less

World Rugby League undermines international progress Some attention in recent weeks has been focused on the development of a body called World Rugby League, which has set itself up as an alternative to the RLIF. Founded in Greece, and with strong links to Italy and Asia, the body seems to see itself as some kind of pioneering organisation, with the noble aim of developing International Rugby League. Scratch at the surface, however, and things become a little murky. Matters are complicated by the continuing battle that rugby league faces to gain official recognition as a sport from the Global Association of International Sports Federations (formerly SportAccord). In November, this body again refused to recognise RL as an official sport, something which hinders international development and access to funding. At the time, high-ranking rugby league officials hinted to reporters that rugby union officials had exerted some kind of nefarious influence on the process. The existence of this rival governing body, World Rugby League, has also been cited in some reports as a determining factor, with rugby union authorities indicating the existence of rival governing bodies as a cause for concern when it comes to official recognition for rugby league. The WRL has also written letters to Bulgarian sports authorities questioning the validity of the new Bulgarian national RL team and its associated club sides. The letter contained this interesting section: “We are aware that the ‘Bulgarian Rugby Federation’ is operating in Bulgaria. We suppose that the BRF is recognised by the Bulgarian Ministry of Sports. Please explain to us: Has the BRF only authority on rugby union, or it has also authority on rugby league (sic). Do you recognise rugby league under the authority of the BRF or not?” This smacks of the recent and infamous situation in the UAE, where Sol Mokdad was arrested and jailed for, in effect, organising a rugby league competition. This all looks like a Trojan horse strategy, a way of undermining rugby league and its international development for egotistical reasons. There is also the lingering suspicion that there is a rugby union driven agenda behind the group. WRL President Tasos Pantazidis recently stated: “The first key factor is the rivalry issue. We believe rugby league representatives have to find common ground with rugby union. “We fully understand the controversial nature of this strategy but it makes complete sense on so many levels. “It is the ‘elephant in the room’ that stands in the way of real growth and development of rugby league." Quite what ‘common ground’ means is open to interpretation, but Pantazidis is either being naive or deliberately disingenuous here. Southern Europe seems to be the main area of focus for this body, though they have links with Pakistan too, via Ikram Butt. Butt’s involvement with such a body is a little mystifying, to be honest. There seems little point to any of this, beyond some kind of narcissism. What is the point of founding rival bodies? Again, the suspicion comes back to rugby union. While conspiracy theories, most of them ridiculous, abound in rugby league, the closer one looks at the WRL, the more one suspects some kind of deliberate act of sabotage. The other issue is that the erroneously named World Rugby, the international governing body for rugby union, has written to Sport Accord highlighting the existence of World Rugby League as a reason to not give rugby league recognition as a separate sport. I can’t be the only one to notice the suspicious overlap between the phrases ‘World Rugby’ and ‘World Rugby League’. The RLIF is far from perfect. But guerrilla campaigns of this kind will not improve how international rugby league is run. Far from it, in fact. All this situation is doing is distracting attention from important issues that will drive our game forward. It looks like a deliberate attempt to sabotage rugby league, with the ultimate aim of bringing our game back, at least in part, under the control of rugby union. It needs to be stopped. What is particularly worrying is that this rogue body has acquired recognition from the Italian government. Ahead of a recent WRL game between ‘Pakistan’ and ‘Italy’ in November, the Italian ambassador to Pakistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, said: “The Team and the Rugby 13 Federation are legally recognized by an integral part (sic) of the Italian Olympic Committee, which makes it a national team at all effects (sic).” This, obviously, is highly problematic, given that the official Italy RL team was playing in the Rugby League World Cup at the time. What also doesn’t help their cause, nor the cause of rugby league in general, is that the WRL website looks like it was written by idiots. Clearly translated ineptly from a foreign language, the website’s test features such gems as these, which have been literally transcribed from the site: “Episkyros and Phainida in ancient Greece, Harpastum in Ancient Rome, Calcio Fiorentino in the Middle Ageas, Mob Footbal in Western Europe, formated as a sport at the down of the 19th century. “Nationality, colour, ethnicity, religion, gender, class, wealth, ability, are not borders. These are flowers of the same garden, the beautiful garden of human race. All rugbers are accepted...” The body also claims to be "Fare, just and open.” (sic) There is also a self-serving and, frankly, ignorant outline of rugby league’s ‘history’ on the WRL website, which runs thus: “The sport of Rugby League is a sport originating from ancient times and through the centuries resulted in its present form. The ancient Greek Episkyros and Fainida, Roman harpastum, calcio fiorentino, the British mob football, are some of the forms of the sport in the past. Games with simple rules, as simple as rugby league.” No mention of 1895 and the Great Split. No mention of rugby league’s working class roots in the North of England. No mention of the class and regional dynamics of the split. No mention of the unique sporting culture that the circumstances of the split helped to create. Instead, there seems to be some kind of attempt here to subvert the history of our game, and turn the focus of its history onto southern Europe. That could be construed as deliberate insult. Rugby league people need to be careful about dealing with this body. It is hard to cover the story without appearing to give WRL some kind of credibility. The thing is, the more credibility they receive, the more problems they will pose for our game. No one pretends that the RLIF is perfect, but it is our governing body, and needs support as well as intelligent criticism. But the WRL is doing nothing to help international rugby league. The strong suspicion must be that they are either deliberately servicing a rugby union agenda to gain control of rugby league bodies, or that they being manipulated as ‘useful idiots’ by rugby union people. Either way, the time has come to call them out. World Rugby League do not represent our sport, and it should be made very clear to everyone in the world of sport that they do not. Follow the writer: Zack Wilson Source: Everything Rugby League

1 day ago

LeagueCulture shared Latin Heat - Rugby League's post.

This is the single most important Rugby League story today and possibly this year. Competitive close games with players living and playing in the countries they represent in a region we had barely ever considered with a few heritage players and organisers in place to make it all work. This is Rugby League expansion done right!
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Emotions on a high as Chile 🇨🇱 defeats Argentina 🇦🇷 32-12 in the final of the 1st Latin American #RugbyLeague Championships, held in Los Angeles, Chile. Colombia 🇨🇴 edged Brazil 🇧🇷 22-18 in the playoff for third place. #LatinHeatRL #LatAmChamps #FuegoLatino #NRL

4 weeks ago

This is the single most important Rugby League story today and possibly this year. Competitive close games with players living and playing in the countries they represent in a region we had barely ever considered with a few heritage players and organisers in place to make it all work. This is Rugby League expansion done right!

Russ De Huru, Matthew Shaw and 15 others like this

Latin Heat - Rugby LeagueOnce we upload the video I think you'll be impressed with the standard at such an early stage too.

4 weeks ago   ·  1
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LeagueCulture shared Magyar Ligarögbi Szövetség's post.

The Hungarian National Rugby League team is on tour to Thailand. Beside having the international fixtures, they did coaching clinics in rural Thai schools. Priceless experience for all involved!
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A mai napon a HRLF és a magyar ligarögbi válogatott, a Magyar Bulls, bemutatókat tartott vidéki thai iskolákban. Különleges élményben volt részünk, egyben örülünk, hogy hasonló élményt adhattunk!

1 month ago

The Hungarian National Rugby League team is on tour to Thailand. Beside having the international fixtures, they did coaching clinics in rural Thai schools. Priceless experience for all involved!

LeagueCulture shared Magyar Ligarögbi Szövetség's post.

International rugby league news, and it's not RLWC 2017. How great development is that for our sport?!
The Magyar Bulls will play against the Phillipines tomorrow in a tournament in Thailand. Here is the Hungarian line up.
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A kezdési időpont megváltozott!!! 17:30 helyi idő szerint 11:30 magyar idő szerint A Magyar Ligarögbi Szövetség megnevezte kezdőcsapatát a vasárnapi Fülöp-szigetek elleni teszt mérkőzésre a Thaiföldön rendezett tornán. A mérkőzést 2017. november 5-én 17 órakor, magyar idő szerint 11 órakor rendezik, a livestream link itt lesz megtalálható a későbbiekben. Hajrá Magyar Bulls!!! #rugby #rugbyleague #MagyarBulls #HRLF

1 month ago

International rugby league news, and its not RLWC 2017. How great development is that for our sport?!
The Magyar Bulls will play against the Phillipines tomorrow in a tournament in Thailand. Here is the Hungarian line up.

LeagueCulture shared Magyar Ligarögbi Szövetség's post.

HRLF announced its sguad before tomorrows test against the Phillipines.
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A kezdési időpont megváltozott!!! 17:30 helyi idő szerint 11:30 magyar idő szerint A Magyar Ligarögbi Szövetség megnevezte kezdőcsapatát a vasárnapi Fülöp-szigetek elleni teszt mérkőzésre a Thaiföldön rendezett tornán. A mérkőzést 2017. november 5-én 17 órakor, magyar idő szerint 11 órakor rendezik, a livestream link itt lesz megtalálható a későbbiekben. Hajrá Magyar Bulls!!! #rugby #rugbyleague #MagyarBulls #HRLF

1 month ago

HRLF announced its sguad before tomorrows test against the Phillipines.

LeagueCulture shared RLI - Australia's post. ... See MoreSee Less

**Fixture Announcement** RLI - Australia is pleased to announce Australian-Irish first RLIF sanctioned 13 aside match versus a Rest of the World Select XIII. Saturday 11th November at Cabramatta New Era Stadium Kick Off 1pm. Contact this page for more details.

1 month ago

League Culture are delighted to announce we have a new editor-at-large, Matthew Labourne. Cumbrian based, he has played Rugby League in both Australia and the UK and currently writes Rugby League articles for the Prole Star. Matthew will take over from Stuart Morris whose tireless commitment to Rugby League has laid the platform that we will continue to work on. #LeagueCulture ... See MoreSee Less

2 months ago

LeagueCulture shared Everything Rugby League's post.

Shameful actions by the BBC allowing RLWC games not to be aired on their channels.

Rugby League, tipped on the TV ratings as the 2nd highest viewed sport averaging around 2 million viewers throughout a Super League campaign, now see's itself forced to the foundations of the sporting basement in the UK. Restricting grass route attractions in areas where Rugby League was once a dirty word.

As this has been tipped to be the biggest World Cup yet, are the actions by the BBC justified?
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BBC coverage makes it hard for UK fans to feel World Cup excitement Scanning the BBC’s schedule of coverage for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup is bound to deflate the excitement of even the biggest diehard league fan. Yes, England’s games are live on BBC TV, but if you want to follow Wales v PNG live, then you will have to listen on the radio. Scotland and Ireland’s games do not even get that courtesy, at least, not according to the schedule published on the BBC website last week. Looking at the BBC schedule, one feels a little underwhelmed, to say the least. A lot of people in Britain don’t even know that Scotland and Ireland have rugby league national sides. After this World Cup, they probably still won’t, unless they happen to stumble across the Freesport channel at the right times. Freesport has stepped into the breach, for viewers who do not want to fork yet more subscription cash for Premier Sports. But their scheduling seems odd to UK fans, with Samoa v Tonga being shown live instead of New Zealand v Scotland on Saturday November 4. Scotland v Samoa the following week WILL be live, though. Thankfully, so will be Wales v Ireland on November 12, a game which really should be on the BBC. Premier Sports are covering the whole tournament, and are backing it fully, which is to their credit. But they are not amongst the big broadcasters in Britain, and are perceived as catering for minority and niche interests. Overall, the British media coverage feels hit and miss, a little last minute, with the build-up lacking momentum. But this is where rugby league is now. We do not provoke enough interest in the UK as a sport to feature prominently in the TV schedules. But, without that coverage, we cannot hope to grow either, and so currently we find ourselves in a little bit of a Catch 22 situation. The only way that teams like Scotland can hope to attract more youngsters actually living in Scotland to the game is for the national team to be a visible presence in the media. Hopefully, as with the last World Cup, Scotland can produce displays which cut through the media blanket which obscures their achievements currently. And hopefully enough people will tune into the BBC’s TV coverage of England and Wales to make the media bosses realise that rugby league is a viable TV product. Without free-to-air TV showing the games, international RL will continue to be treated as a niche interest. Follow the writer: Zack Wilson Source: Everything Rugby League

2 months ago

Shameful actions by the BBC allowing RLWC games not to be aired on their channels. 

Rugby League, tipped on the TV ratings as the 2nd highest viewed sport averaging around 2 million viewers throughout a Super League campaign, now sees itself forced to the foundations of the sporting basement in the UK. Restricting grass route attractions in areas where Rugby League was once a dirty word. 

As this has been tipped to be the biggest World Cup yet, are the actions by the BBC justified?

Woodrow Joe Hughes, Adrian Sparks and 6 others like this

John HumphriesThey should show all world cup games..

2 months ago
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Des Foy with the first try in the Ireland v USA International at RFK Stadium in Washington DC back in 1996.

2 months ago

LeagueCulture shared 7 News Townsville's post.

7 News Townsville
USARL, predominantly made from Domestic players, finds themselves in the media spotlight in Townsville QLD.
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The United States' Rugby League team is determined to flex its muscle on the international stage. www.7News.com.au #7News

2 months ago

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Kwstantinos RoussosVasilis Dokouslis

2 months ago

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LeagueCulture added 2 new photos.

Well fought out clash as the Rabbitohs defeated the Tuks 34-14 in South Africa.

The 10 strong competition has built up slowly over the years despite South African RU pressure and the National team missing out on a World Cup place to a fantastic Lebanon side.

LeagueCulture wishes the South African Rugby League every success.
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2 months ago

Well fought out clash as the Rabbitohs defeated the Tuks 34-14 in South Africa. 

The 10 strong competition has built up slowly over the years despite South African RU pressure and the National team missing out on a World Cup place to a fantastic Lebanon side. 

LeagueCulture wishes the South African Rugby League every success.

LeagueCulture shared Latin Heat - Rugby League's post. ... See MoreSee Less

Congratulations Futbol a 13 Rugby League Marimán Negrete on winning the inaugural Chilean Super League, defeating Futbol a 13 Rugby League Awkan Nacimiento in the final. Captain Piero Diaz is pictured with the trophy.

2 months ago