The Rugby League International Federation CEO, Nigel Wood, has issued a statement outlining the significant progress made by the RLIF and its membership in 2018.
“I think we will look back on 2018 as a watershed for international rugby league as we reflect upon what has been a truly remarkable year. Often the year immediately after a World Cup sees nations taking a rest from the rigours of international matches, in 2018, however, we have seen a record number of full international matches taking place. Sixty five fully sanctioned matches have taken place in the men’s schedule giving 2210 players the opportunity to earn full caps for representing their country.”
“Games have taken place in North and South America, across Europe and in Australasia involving nations from each of five continents. Something that would have been unheard of less than 10 years ago. The good news is also that, as fast as the international games grows, each nation is growing its domestic competitions and involving ever widening participation by diverse communities.”
“This year has seen full international championships organised and supported by the RLIF in the Americas, at three levels in Europe, Qualification for RLWC2021 and an Emerging Nations World Championship involving 11 different countries. I would like to congratulate the various winners of those championships, Jamaica, Greece, Norway, Russia, France and Malta. However its important also to recognise and thank all of those other nations who have competed so hard in all of the games.”
"The games at international and domestic level all requires coaches, administrators and match officials to ensure that players and fans can enjoy rugby league. I would like to thank and congratulate our colleagues, particularly in the RLEF who, with their EU partner, have delivered valuable and much needed development programmes for coaches and match officials. We also thank the many nations, including Australia, England, New Zealand and France, who use their vast experience and expertise in all areas to support other member nations as they develop.”
“The RLIF as an organisation continues to mature and develop. In 2018 we continued our fruitful discussions across a whole range of subjects including the plans for the international calendar, the review of how we govern ourselves and our membership of the international sports federation, GAISF. We are making progress on all fronts and there will be several announcements in 2019.”
“I would like to place on record my thanks to all the members, players, supporters, officials and my colleagues in the RLIF, RLEF and APRLC for their continued hard work and support. I hope that all enjoy a festive break and enter 2019 in good health and renewed for the challenges and opportunities offered by the New Year.”