Commonwealth link offers rich promise for Rugby League

Rugby League’s global growth is set to continue apace following the sport’s membership of the Commonwealth Games Federation, according to Rugby League International Federation Vice-Chairman Richard Lewis.

Speaking after the recent meeting of the RLIF in London, Lewis said the link with the Commonwealth Games will present further opportunities for developing nations and help accelerate the ongoing growth in participation around the world.

The benefits of membership of the Commonwealth Games Federation were outlined to the meeting by Hamish McInnes, the Director of Commonwealth Games in England, who left delegates excited by the sport’s future prospects.

Lewis said: “We’re delighted with the continued progress we are making internationally and we are already seeing the fantastic contribution that this official recognition makes in supporting our developing nations.

“Already we are seeing positive results from the RLIF Commonwealth Games Commission with UK Sport supporting an initiative in Jamaica and looking to support further work in Ghana.

“The Commonwealth Games Federation Annual General Meeting will be held in St Kitts this month to ratify the Category 3 membership of the RLIF which recognises Rugby League as a Commonwealth sport.

“Rugby League is not yet eligible for the Commonwealth Games but we are working towards this and achieving Category 3 membership does provide great status and a number of benefits for member nations.”

The RLIF Board comprises Chairman Scott Carter (New Zealand); Vice Chairman Richard Lewis (RFL) and delegates David Gallop and Tas Baitieri (Australia), John Numapo (PNG), Nigel Wood (RFL), John Bishop (New Zealand), Herve Guiraud (RLEF, France) and Graeme Thompson (RLEF, Scotland).