MALTA RUGBY LEAGUE NATION OVERVIEW
Foundation Year – 2004
International Team – Knights
Top level domestic competition – Six teams took part in a 9’s rugby league tournament on Maltese soil in October 2007.
History – Malta continues the trend of Mediterranean nations taking up rugby league.
In 2004 Malta played their first international game against a touring British Defence Force team winning 78 – 0 at Melita Stadium, Sydney, Australia.
Malta took on Greece in 2005 at Sydney’s Fairfax Community Stadium. Greece snatched defeat from the jaws of victory letting Malta score in the dying minutes to win 24 – 22. Later that month the first international rugby league match was played on Maltese soil. The touring England Lionhearts were no match for the Knights. Televised on national TV Malta put on a encouraging display defeating the Lionhearts 36 – 6.
The first rugby league competition to be played in Malta kicked of in October 2007. Six teams were involved in a 9’s formatted competition.
After the completion of the competition the best Maltese players were selected to represent Malta in a friendly against the British Royal Corp. The Maltese team included 10 local players. In a tough game Malta came home strong on the back of some Jarrod Sammut brilliance to win 34 -24.
In early 2008 the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) released European seeding with Malta ranked 12th out of 16 European nations. This was an improvement on their previous ranking of 16th in 2006.
In August 2008 the RLEF announced that Malta would be assigned a development officer to continue with the growth of rugby league in Malta. The development officer “Anthony Micallef” is tasked with establishing an ongoing Rugby League Championship and taking the sport to the next level in Malta.
In a another boost for Rugby League in Malta, Penrith Panthers star Jarrod Sammut became the first professional rugby league player to visit Malta in October 2008. During Sammut’s two week visit he conduct development sessions with local rugby league players.
In November 2008 Malta Rugby League applied for official recognition from the Malta Sports Council. If approved this will help the MRL with introducing rugby league into local schools and obtaining government funding.
In early 2009 Malta were ranked 27th in World seedings by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).
The recent success of the Rugby League World Cup will provide further funds to develop the sport throughout Europe. The Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) will now have more funds to invest in development officers and continue assisting rugby league’s growth. With the right support many more nations including Malta could possibly be involved in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers. It is hoped that the establishment of a local competition will assist with raising the profile of the sport in Malta.
In late 2009 Greece, Italy, Portugal and Malta took part in the inaugural Australian Mediterranean 4 Nations Shield held at Marconi Stadium over two weeks. Malta finished 3rd in the tournament after defeating Portugal in a 3rd place play-off.
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MALTA INTERNATIONAL RUGBY LEAGUE RESULTS
2015 Rugby League Results
May 3rd Lebanon 34 v Malta 16, St Marys (Battle of the Phoenicians)
2014 Rugby League Results
Jul 12th Czech Republic 8 v Malta 34, Havlichkuv Brod
Jun 28th Malta 18 v Greece 32, Pembroke
2012 Rugby League Results
Sep 29th Denmark 12 – Malta 74 (Dove Men+Care International Series)
Jun 9th Malta 24 – Denmark 12 (Dove Men+Care International Series)
2011 Rugby League Results
Sep 2nd Malta 64 – Norway 24 (European Shield)
Jul 23rd Germany 36 – Malta 12 (European Shield)
2010 Rugby League Results
Jun 4th Malta 30 – Norway XIII 20 (European Bowl)
2009 Rugby League Results
Oct 17th – Malta 62 – Portugal 6 (Med Shield)
Oct 10th Italy 34 – Malta 10 (Med Shield)
2007 Rugby League Results
Oct 19th Malta 34 – British Royal Corp 24
Oct 6th Malta 58 – Portugal 12
Jan 25th Malta 82 – Japan 0
2006 Rugby League Results
Oct 8th Lebanon 36 – Malta 10
2005 Rugby League Results
Oct 22nd Malta 36 – England Lionhearts 6
Oct 8th Malta 24 – Greece 22
2004 Rugby League Results
Oct 16th Fiji A 40 – Malta 24
Sep 25th Malta 78 – British Defence Force 0