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Hungary & Saudi Arabia join the Rugby League fold

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The Hungarian Rugby League Federation and Saudi Arabian Rugby League Association have both been awarded Observer status by the Rugby League European Federation (RLIF) Board of Directors.

Hungary began its involvement in the sport in 2011, largely through the efforts of former Scottish Student representative Adam Nunn and some of the Budapest rugby community. Hungary XIII played in the European Bowl in 2011 and 2012 and club side Danube Pirates have travelled to and hosted Serbian selections in October 2011 and March 2012. This July four teams will contest the inaugural Hungarian National Cup.

The Saudi journey has been more complicated. In 2008, school teachers Chris Ratcliffe, Shaun Nicholls and David Kinkead introduced the sport to their U14s and U16s in Jeddah. The response exceeded their expectations and in 2009 the competition doubled in size, with U12 and U18s playing and two more schools joined by 2012. The Saudi Schools Select side, ‘the Camels’, has participated in all the MENA Championships at every age category over the period.

The difficulties sporting bodies have in receiving official recognition in the kingdom – it requires the endorsement of a member of the royal family – meant that the Saudi rugby league community had not previously sought formal recognition from the RLEF. But this year, RLEF negotiations with SportAccord, the umbrella group for Olympic and non-Olympic sports, resulted in agreement that robust internal governance would suffice for recognising the Saudi Arabian Rugby League Association.

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Saudi Arabia? Brings new meaning to a one-handed offload... :ph34r:

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We need Hungary in the fold. If only for the potential 'Hungary for success' puns in any stories.

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We need Hungary in the fold. If only for the potential 'Hungary for success' puns in any stories.

I was watching rugby league in Hungary back in 1994.

Unfortunately it wasn't a live game it was an illegal feed of sky sports matches in a sports bar in Budapest. Still it was my only fix of RL for nearly a year, even managed to find another Leeds fan to watch the games with.

Good to see progress has been made.

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brilliant, expanding the sport is the only thing that will save it from oblivion, or worse still re-joining the rfu....

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Rugby League World - April 2017

League Express - Mon 10th April 2017