Delegates from Belgium and the Netherlands attended the French Federation Congress, in the final activity of the 18-month Leadership Devolution Project, which has been supported by the European Union.
The RLEF nations have been involved in programmes fostering good governance and increasing match officials and coaching capacity, with the senior nations acting as mentors.
Former Junior Kiwi and Leigh Head coach Tony Benson has been appointed as the new Belgium Rugby League Sport Director. Benson's duties will commence in 2015.
Benson's main goals are to build the Belgium Rugby League culture at youth level and set up an elite program in order to build a team to compete in the European Championship C in 2016.
Belgian rugby league has qualified its first technical tutors, following the completion of the match officials segment of the joint EU-RLEF Leadership Devolution Project in Brussels.
Led by RLEF educators Tom Mather and Thierry Alibert; Ilias Laarichi and Salvatore Liga of the Belgian Rugby League Association, supported by their cluster colleagues, Dutchmen Tom van Gorkum and Jorge Vasquez, successfully navigated the qualification process.
Head coach Tony Benson has expressed his delight with Belgium’s 52-12 victory over the Czech Republic in Brussels.
Having reviewed the footage of their nine-try triumph, Benson said, “I am really happy with our progress and the development of depth within the Belgium squad.
Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have announced the dates of their triangular series. Germany will host the Belgians in Dusseldorf on 6 August before travelling to Rotterdam a week later for the Griffin Cup, contested annually between the two neighbours. The Dutch complete the series on 3 September when they play in Brussels.
Belgium’s top rugby league players have held their first training camp with newly installed sport director Tony Benson in Brussels.
The former Leigh, Oldham and Oxford coach joined forces with the burgeoning Belgium operation in November and will this year try to mould the country’s best players into an effective national side as well as mentoring the new coaches who are active at club and, predominantly, school level.
Belgium defeated Holland 32-16 at the VUB-Sports department in Brussels, crossing for six tries.
Man of the match Simon Marotte led the way, opening the scoring in the fourth minute after a clever dummy.
Hat tricks from Josh William and Tom Blakey were the highlights as England Colleges won 72-6 in Brussels against a young Belgium XIII.
In all, the visitors ran in 13 tries - Lewis Mckissick with a double, James Forey, Adam Barrass, Cameron Bouller, Jake Ward and Sam Mason their other try scorers - and led 32-0 at the break.
The Belgian Rugby League Association will celebrate its first full year as a National Governing Body at the end of Mayand its leaders, president Yves-Michael Kazadi and secretary general Zakaria Zoubir, are confident that the sport has every chance to flourish there.