Following a meeting in Hoogerheide, delegates from Belgium and Dutch rugby league clubs have formally announced a new competition.
The cross-border league will be named the BNRL Championship (Begium-Nederland Rugby League Championship) and the four clubs involved are: Amsterdam Cobras Rugby League Club, Den Haag Knights Rugby League, Rotterdam Pitbulls RLFC and North Brussels Gorillas Rugby League.
The Belgian and Czech Rugby League Associations have announced a two-match Test series. Belgium will host the Czech Republic in Brussels on 18 April and then visit Tis, 100km south east of Prague, on 3 October.
Czech head coach David Lahr, who will field players exclusively from the domestic competition, said, “It will be a great opportunity to test the progress of our league, the standard of its games and the players.”
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.
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.
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.
Following a meeting in Brussels between leaders of the Belgian Rugby League Association and the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond, a four-club competition has been confirmed for next spring.
Amsterdam Cobras RLFC, Rotterdam Pitbulls RLFC, Den Haag Knights and North Brussels Gorillas will play a round of games in each of the cities before a finals day in Brussels.
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.
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.
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.
BELGIUM RUGBY LEAGUE NATION OVERVIEW
Information on this page was updated - 11/3/2014
Foundation Year - 2009
International Team - Belgium Rugby League
Top level domestic competition - There is currently no domestic rugby league competition. Currently has one team playing games against teams from London, France, Catalonia, Germany and Morocco.