The RLEF has awarded Observer status to Polska Rugby XIII, the national governing body of the sport in the country.
The association was formed in 2015 but rugby league has been played in Poland since 2011 when founder Lukasz Lucka discovered the game on the internet and decided it was the perfect sport for the youth of his home city, Lodz.
“This is a great milestone for us and the best reward for all the hard work we have put in so far developing rugby league in Poland,” said Lucka. “We look forward to kicking off a Polish rugby league championship and to play our first full international later this year.”
Since the creation of Lodz Magpies, five more clubs have followed; Tomaszów Wild Bears, Sparta Brzeziny, Skierniewice Razorbacks, Stryków Bulls, and Wataha (‘the Wolfpack’) Piotrków Trybunalski. Polska Rugby XIII currently has a federation application lodged with the local authorities which will aid further recognition.
The governing body has set itself four core objectives: growth of the domestic competition, development of its workforce, raising profile to encourage broadening participation, and national team development, They intend to launch of a Nines tournament as a precursor to a full 13-a-side competition.