The RFIL have announced that the Emerging Nations World Cup (ENWC) will take place in Sydney, November 2018, with Hong Kong Rugby League confirmed as one of the participating nations.
In what is widely anticipated to be landmark tournament for the development of the game globally, the ENWC will see Tier 2 and 3 rugby league nations compete in a two week tournament. The unprecedented reach and diversity of the nations participating will make it one of the most global rugby league tournament to have ever taken place, a reflection of the growing status of the game across the world. Confirmed nations so far are Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Latvia, Malta, Niue, Philippines, Thailand and Vanuatu with more expected to follow, and confirmed venues so far include Windsor, St Mary’s and Cabramatta.
“The 2018 Emerging Nations World Championship will feature more global teams than any previous rugby league competition,” RLIF Chairman Nigel Wood said. “It will put the spotlight on the fact that rugby league is played in more than 60 countries and give recognition to the many volunteer players and officials around the globe who do great things for this sport. One of the Board’ objectives in awarding the grant was to measure the event’s success by creating a legacy of participants returning to their nation to spread the interest and growth in Rugby League.”
Rugby league in Hong Kong is growing rapidly with a 2017 calendar that includes the return of the HKRL 9s (April 22nd) for a third year running and an inaugural 13-a-side domestic competition scheduled for this summer.
“The ENWC is going to be a huge step in growing the game both here in Hong Kong and globally. It is a validation and reflection of the hard work that the many volunteers and administrators have put into the game here in Hong Kong so far. As we look towards the next phase of growth, we hope that this will be provide a catalyst and a milestone for us to continue to work towards,” said HKRL Chairman James Hall. “I know everybody involved, from the players to the board, are incredibly excited, and we’ll make sure we do everything we can to ensure we compete to the best of our abilities on the field come November 2018.”
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