On February 5, 2021, the Philippines became the first Asian nation to obtain membership status with the International Rugby League (IF) under their new Philippine Incorp – “Pambansang Ragbi Liga Ng Pilipinas” (Philippine National Rugby League) the governing body of Rugby League in the Philippines. Along with the IRL membership and with international games already under their belt the PNRL secured an official world ranking of #26, an excellent achievement for an Asian rugby league nation.
The PNRL continued their progress by applying for rugby league recognition in early 2021, and on May 30, 2022, Pambansang Ragbi Liga Ng Pilipinas was officially granted approval for recognition for the sport of rugby league in the Philippines by POC President Abraham Tolentino and the General Assembly of the Philippine Olympic Committee. The PNRL are extremely proud to achieve this milestone, and the board is excited for the opportunities the recognition will provide the sport.
“Gaining POC membership has been a very long process but having now completed it, it will allow us to make a great deal of progress domestically. From starting up our academy, to league matches to our grassroots development program up to and including advancing our IRL membership to compete at world cups and forming new teams and hosting events the hard work of nearly a decade will hopefully begin to pay off.” – PNRL CEO, Joe Cole.
On top of their recent achievement, the PNRL has submitted an EOI to the IRL to enter a national team for France – World Cup 2025 in the Wheelchair category. A proud moment for the Philippines which could be their first World Cup event, and with even bigger dreams of reaching World Cup 2029 qualifiers.
“Firstly, we thank the POC for welcoming us into the team, we can now expand on our development plans and progress with our mission. We want to grow and develop rugby league throughout the Philippines and assist our neighboring countries at establishing the sport. It’s also important we use rugby league as a platform to create opportunities such as jobs and as an education curriculum.” – PNRL President, Reynaldo Nery.
Pambansang Ragbi Liga Ng Pilipinas are looking forward to a successful working relationship with the Philippine Olympic Committee.