A York & District select side will visit Kharkiv on 10 June to play in the seventh A.V. Martyrosyan Memorial fixture. The visitors will join three representative teams from west, central and eastern Ukraine.
“We are looking forward to playing Nines this time,” said Ukrainian Federation of Rugby League president Artur Martyrosyan junior. “For the Ukraine national team, it’s a part of our preparation for the Belgrade Nines tournament on 24-25th of June. We are pleased to welcome our friends from England.”
The tour has been organised by York Acorn boss Leigh Paul-Rientoul and businessman Gary Dickenson, who is involved in neighbouring club New Earswick All Blacks, and will see players from each of the city’s four community clubs – Acorn, All Blacks, Heworth and York Lokomotive – combine.
Paul-Rientoul explained that the tour came about due to his links with Martyrosyan, who he met while playing in Ukraine for a touring BARLA Great Britain U23s team in 2009 and 2010.
“I’ve always kept in contact with Artur and he invited us to take a team over,” said the Acorn coach. “It’s great to have representative rugby back in the city. Lads who don’t necessarily get the chance to play for BARLA GB or Yorkshire get the opportunity to represent York, experience going on tours like this and making unforgettable memories.”