Nine sides from six countries will take to the field for the annual Rotterdam Nines tournament, to be held on 14th April.
Amsterdam Cobras, Harderwijk Dolphins and the hosts Rotterdam Pitbulls represent the Netherlands, North Brussels Gorillas join from neighbours Belgium, TSV Karlshofen and Ost Westfalen come from Germany, Eastern Europe sides Krupka Dragons (Czech Republic) and Ragbi Klub Dorcol (Serbia) travel the furthest, and Colchester-based Eastern Rhinos from England will be hoping to emulate last year’s winners, Wests Warriors from London.
The original tournament was staged between 2004-06 and revived ten years later when New South Wales side Robertson Spuddies took the silverware to the southern hemisphere.
NRLB chairman, Thijs van der Zouwen, believes the tournament is a great advert for the sport, which helps to attract more Dutch players to rugby league. “This tournament gives us some good exposure and we hope to make it a permanent fixture in the international nines calendar,” he said. “It is a very attractive and entertaining format which a great way of engaging players and fans whilst also raising our profile.”