Ukraine and Hungary were the shining lights of the second European University Rugby League Tournament held in Nanterre, outside Paris, over the May Day bank holiday weekend.
The University of Paris-Nanterre, “Sélection Universitaire Francilienne” – a French university select – Belgium, Serbia, Ukraine and Hungary all took part in the men’s category, while Hungary, University of Paris-Nanterre, an Ile de France select and, for the first time, Serbia participated in the women’s competition.
The qualifying rounds were held at Racing Club de France in Colombes while the finals were staged at the Gabriel Peri Stade, Nanterre.
The Hungarian women, a strong team of experienced players, many drawn from the national rugby union side who began playing rugby league in 2013, won their tournament in some style against the University of Paris-Nanterre, 38-4 .
Ukraine, comprising more than 10 full internationals, beat Serbia 18-14 in the men’s final, just two weeks ahead of their respective national teams’ clash in Nis in the opening match of European Championship B, with Belgium snatching third place.
The event, conceived by French Federation university rugby league chief Regis Osmont, is meant to promote cultural exchanges between European nations while offering developing nations the chance to compete in one of Europe’s leading cities.
It was attended by the FFRXIII’s Laurent Dupuy, the leader of France’s academic rugby league department, who worked with the various coaching staffs, and national technical director Patrick Pedrazzani, who was able to discuss with representatives of the sports ministry various opportunities for further European rugby league development initiatives.