South African Rugby League today announced the Team and Tour Captains for the 2013 Student Rugby League Team for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Allan Kasselman from TUKS Rugby League will lead the team onto the field, and Christo Louw will ably assist him off the field and during the tour. Fanie Bredenhann, Director of Coaching for SARL, had the following to sayâ€ â€œBoth players have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to be where they are today. With a touring captain and a team captain, we ensure that we have strong leadership both on and off the field.â€
South African Rugby League is sending what is in essence a â€œrebel tourâ€ to compete in the 2013 Rugby League Student World Cup in Leeds, United Kingdom. Because SASCOC does not recognize rugby league as a sport, the team is not officially allowed to represent South Africa, even though South Africa is one of the main members of the Rugby League International Federation.
Rugby league internationally is one of the fastest growing team contact sports and with a massive international following, it has the opportunity to become one of the main stream sports in South Africa, with the possibility of hosting several international tournaments that will not only promote South Africa, but also generate important tourism opportunities for host cities.
â€œThe failure of SASCOC to recognize rugby league as a sport, and to actively engage in a campaign amongst the regional sporting associations to do the same, harks back to the Apartheid years with sports being discriminated against for no apparent reasonâ€ says Kobus Botha, President of SARL, â€œYoung men like Allan and Christo are forced to represent their country with no official recognition and the team have to use their own finances to be able to tour to a significant event such as a World Cup, and all of this because of petty politics.â€
The team will play against the Wales on the 4th of July, Ireland the 7th of July and England on the 10th of July as part of their pool games. From there the march to the semi-finals and the finals at Headingly Stadium in Leeds begins.