In a historic move, New South Wales Country League will be touring South Africa to play two rugby league games this coming October. The NSW Country League Team will first play a SARL Combined Clubs Side at Silverton Rugby Club on the 12th of October at 16hoo in the afternoon as part of their preparations to take on the National Team, The Rhino’s, at Bosman Stadium on the 18th of October at 19hoo in the evening.
This tour is the beginning of a wave of teams coming to South Africa to play the Rhino’s and local clubs. After the strong showing of the SARL Student Team at the 2013 Student World Cup, the message is very clear to the international community: you haven’t played a strong, physical side till you have played the Rhino’s.
While here the players and coaching staff will also do a few training clinics to help promote the game of rugby league to the youth, and to educate existing players in the finer nuances of the game.
Kobus Botha, President of South African Rugby League, was very optimistic, saying: “The National Team is a strong squad of players, and where they might lack experience in international matches, the physicality is there, as is the passion and drive to represent your country. It is such a scandal that the leaders at SASCOC have steadfastly refused to acknowledge rugby league as a sport, even when all the required paperwork has been done, and therefor local sportsmen cannot get recognition for representing their country.”
Gerry Gendall, National Senior Team Coach, is looking forward to the match-up, going so far as to venture that the Rhino’s are in with a fair chance to cause a few upsets. “I know the New South Wales Country Team is a strong team, and they are coming here to win, not to be tourists, so we expect an extremely physical match.”
Chris Botes from Maxxium Sport, the organizer, had the following inputs: “Rugby league is one of the fastest growing team contact sports in the world, and South Africa has the potential to be the number one in the world with this. This tour is the first of many international tours that is coming to South Africa, regardless of the support of SASCOC.”
The games will be at the following venues:
SARL Combined Clubs vs New South Wales Country League
12 October 2013 at 16h00, Silverton Rugby Club, Silverton, Pretoria
SARL Rhino’s vs New South Wales Country League
18 October 2013 at 19h00, Bosman Stadium, Brakpan, Johannesburg