Rugby League Ireland Lancashire – Launched

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A new Irish Rugby League representative organisation has launched, RLI РLancashire. The organisation offers players in the heartland of Rugby League a chance to represent their ancestral home, and it is hoped that, working closely with Rugby League Ireland, RLI Lancs can branch out, growing the Irish Rugby League community and producing representative teams of all ages in the future.

RLI director Des Foy said of the initiative “We are looking to build in a similar vein to that of RLI Australia, The first steps of the plan are to get an open age mens team together and on the field by the end of this season, to do this we have appointed a head coach in Glenn Warhust, manager Kieron Brown and host club St. Annes ARLFC.”

Glenn Warhurst, former Salford RLFC Full Back and current St.Annes coach and board member was keen to throw his hand up to prepare the team, Warhust said of his appointment “Its great to be involved in something like this, after running EuroTag sessions¬†(an RLI concept) and a tournament at Oldham St. Anne’s throughout the summer of 2016 I was approached by Des Foy and asked if I would like to coach an RLI Lancs rep side. I immediately said yes. I have been off the coaching scene for a couple of years after being involved with coaching St. Anne’s youth teams for 10 years or more and this was a great opportunity to get back on the training field. There’s a lot of Irish heritage in the north west of England so I expect the numbers and quality of player to be of a good standard. It will be a good opportunity for lads to make representative selectors aware of them and can only be good for Irish Rugby League and the game in general. I’m looking forward to working alongside the Foys (Des and Dec) and Kieron Brown and I hope to have an experienced assistant in place by the time we hold our first training session in the spring.”

Team Manager Kieron Brown added “Hopefully this organisation can flourish and give future Irish players a chance to steep themselves in the culture of their home.”

The Idea of Lancashire Irish is not new, and was visited a few years ago when Lancs and Yorks Irish played off for the Michael Davitt Bowl, details here, however with the advent of the RLEF development and many more countries and heritage team springing up, possible opposition for this new team includes Polish RL UK, Hungary Bulls UK as well more traditional amateur teams across the nation, either way we are looking forward to seeing RLI Lancashire take the field.

For more information of how to get involved either as a player or in the backroom, contact Des Foy, des.foy@rli.ie

– The League Culturist

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