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Ghana Rugby League (Merged threads)

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Have they had a split yet? If they haven't, they're not a 'proper' RL nation... :P 

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how many african nations does that make playing rl now. ?

Three - Morocco, South Africa and Ghana. There has also been activity in Sierra Leone and interest in Nigeria, but I don't think we can class them as 'RL playing nations' just yet.

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Excellent. Ghana is a place of great potential for Rugby League, and could also provide a foothold to expand to neighbouring countries.

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Details have been finalised and visas obtained for the GB Student Pioneers rugby league tour to Ghana, which arrives in the country on Monday, 30th June and will see the squad in the West African nation for two weeks.


The Pioneers were formed in 2005 and encompass students from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales with the aim of aiding fledgling nations.  They made their inaugural tour to Estonia and have since visited the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazakhstan, Greece and Poland.


Squad members are ambassadors for their university and sport, selection criteria considering not only their ability to play the game to a high standard but a proven track record in undertaking rugby league development activity.


While in Ghana, the squad will play three matches against the Ghana All Stars and two facing the national side while also running coaching clinics in schools, running touch rugby tournaments – including one on the beach, meeting the local press and taking part in cultural activities and visits.


GRL Development Manager Sylvester Wellington commented: “This tour has been two years in the planning. We have heard and read about the Pioneers and how they are helping countries to develop rugby league and we feel this is a big opportunity for Ghana to showcase what we have been doing and how fast the sport has grown here.”


“The players and management of Ghana RL are looking forward to it because it will help in making so many more people aware about the sport.”  He added: “We also know this will open the way for us in terms of sponsorships and making some of our players known outside Africa, there is some terrific talent here.”


The tourists, who have been helped in their preparations by the sport’s official charity, Rugby League Cares, will be managed by Steve Curtis, Sports Development Manager at the University of Hull.


He said: “The SRL GB Pioneers tour to Ghana is an exciting new challenge for us. The RLEF have done some great work out there and we want to help build on it and spread the word about rugby league.”


“We have a busy itinerary and all the players and staff are looking forward to leaving tools to help grow the sport there.”


SQUAD:   Jonathan Ryan Morris, Leeds ;  2, Andrew Michael Joy, Liverpool ;  3, James Alex Rodger, Bradford ;  4, Nikola Marko Zalad, UCLAN;  5, Joseph Philip Kenny, Durham;  6, Ryan James Dowsett, St Marys ;  7, Jonathan Peter Burns, Sheffield Hallam ;  8, James David Park, Bath;  9, Samuel Swire, Hull;  10, Edward Geoffrey Denis Linford, Brunel;  11, Ryan Anthony Lee , Gloucester  ;  12, David Gerard O'Connor, Warwick ;  13, Joshua Dolan , UCLAN ;  14, Philip James Heath, TASC ;  15, Adam Cunliffe, Nottingham ;  16, Sean Pattimore, Swansea ;  17, Callum Williamson, Swansea ;  18, Samuel Thomas Roe , York St Johns;  19, George David McNulty-Shaw, Aberystwyth ;  20, Benjamin Mohammed Chipperfield , Bangor

STAFF:   Steve Curtis, Tour Manager;  Keith Sandhu, Team Manager;  Richard Tate, Head Coach;  Ollie O’Mara, Assistant Coach;  Andrew Mitchell, Physiotherapist;  Richard Squires, Referee Development


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The Great Britain Student Pioneers have already made a significant impression on their tour to Ghana, and not just in beating the All-Stars 48-10 in their opening game at the Presbyterian Boys’ School in Legon.


In the aftermath, the squad ran two 90 minute coaching sessions, introducing the sport to around 180 children aged from 12 to 17.


Tropical rain storms initially delayed the P.E. classes but the pupils loved it, hanging on every word of deliverers Phil Heath and Jimmy Rodger.


Ghana RL development officer Sylvester Wellington commented: “You could see from the children’s reactions, expressions and willingness to learn that the game could really grow in this country.”


“The engagement that followed from the previous day’s game was exponentially better than anticipated.”


He added, “Ghana RL are currently aiming to create a rugby league programme and structure within the school, ultimately leading to an academy.”


“The teachers could see the enjoyment from their students and have asked the Pioneers to return and hold a number of sessions for the remaining year groups.”


“The children will play in their first competitive game as a curtain raiser to the national squad this weekend.”


In the match, in front of a big, enthusiastic crowd, the opening exchanges were typically physical,

The Pioneers breaking the deadlock on ten minutes after shifting the ball to the left wing for Ben Chipperfield to cross, Ryan Lee missing the conversion.


Scores to Nik Zalad and Sam Roe followed quickly, Sam Swire galloping over for the fourth try not long after as the All-Stars were caught napping out wide.


The hosts then tightened up their defence and kept the tourists at bay for the next 18 minutes until Ryan Dowsett crossed following a scrum, converted by Ed Linford, followed by Jimmy Rodger's touchdown from a nice pass from stand off Dowsett.


Good play from Lee found full back Jonny Morris on the inside, and he made it a double early in the second and Morris found Adam Cunliffe out wide. The best score was fashioned when Dowsett broke a tackle and set off on a long run, sending David O’Connor over for the Pioneers’ tenth touchdown, Lee with his third goal.


Late on, the crowd were sent wild when, following back to back penalties, the All-Stars moved the play to the left hand corner only to be held up short of the line.


The next play, though, saw second rower Lavoron Ibrahem crash over for the first home try and, with the wind in their sails, Idriis Suleiman jumped out from acting half back, threw an audacious dummy which fooled the Pioneers defence and touched by the posts, Ibrahem converting.


GB Pioneers head coach Rich Tate commented: “It was a really tough match and the strength and enthusiasm of the Ghana All-Stars took us by surprise. We now know what to expect going into the two test matches and will prepare accordingly.”


Opposite number Martin Crick noted: “It was a very brave and committed performance by a team experiencing their first taste of international competition and with most players having less than a season’s rugby league experience.”


“I was very proud of the way they competed until the very end. The difference between the two teams was the Pioneers’ ability to play the game at a faster pace than the Ghanaians were used to.”


Sylvester Wellington was equally pleased with the performance. “With some financial help the sport will thrive here and will produce some fantastic players,” he said.


“Currently Ghana RL has one member of staff who does everything from the kit washing to coaching and referring.”


“The Pioneers have brought a number of playing kits - special thanks to Bradford Bulls, Hull FC, Wibsey Warriors and TASC College - and the RLEF have donated a number of new balls, a new national kit, training vests and club polo shirts.”

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The spread on international RL is amazing and this is another welcome chapter. Kudos to the Brit team for getting there and contributing to the game in Ghana.

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First Test - GHANA RL 4 GB STUDENT PIONEERS 46 – El Wak Stadium, Accra - Report


Pioneers opened impressively, skipper Jonny Morris forcing a drop out from the kick off and then stepping his way over for the opening score, but missing the conversion.


The visitors went further ahead when a superb offload by Ryan Dowsett set up a well-worked move down the left which saw Jamie Parks cross, Ryan Lee goaling.


Second rower Sam Swire crashed through for their third try, Lee again on target to make it 16-0 but the re-invigorated home pack hit back.


Sweeping the ball wide, Francis Donkor broke and gave a superb pass, winger Andrew Ouaye taking full advantage and darting over out wide for Ghana’s first international try, Sani Alhassan unable to add the extras.


Ten minutes of hard-hitting defence kept the tourists at bay but Ghana’s inexperience showed when they kicked on the first tackle presenting Morris with the opportunity to send Swire in for his second try, Lee converting.


Full back Morris skipped clear again but was caught by opposite number Adu Abougye who held on too long in the tackle and was sin-binned, but Francis Lawson with a good clearing run to avert further danger and prop Colestos Bosaka who was held up saw Ghana in the ascendancy going in to the break.


Ouaye did well to field a towering kick at the start of the second half but the Pioneers increased their lead when Joe Kenny broke and sent Morris in and two sets later, prop Andy Joy ran a great line to score, Lee goaling both.


As Ghana began to tire, Morris claimed his hat trick spotting a gap at dummy half and Nik Zalad put him over for a fourth and his side’s eighth touchdown, Lee landing his seventh goal.


GHANA 4 (4)   1- Adu Abougye, 2- Andrew Quaye, 3- Francis Donkor, 4- Marshall Nortey, 5- Francis Lawson, 6- Hanza Suleiman, 7- Sani Alhassan, 8- Kennith Boateng, 9- Philip Asomani, 10- Colestos Bosaka, 11- Idriis Soleiman, 12- Lebovan Ibrahim, 13- Jason Dzata,  Subs (all used)  :  15- Prince Boama, 17- Gideon Khosey, 16- Adams Opelei, 14- Razaq Seidu


Try: Quaye


PIONEERS 46 (22)   1- Jonny Morris ©, 2 - Adam Cunliffe, 3 - Dave O'Connor, 4 - Jamie Park, 5 - Jimmy Rodger, 6 - Ryan Lee, 7 - Sean Pattimore, 8 - Andy Joy, 9 - Jono Burns, 10 - Phil Heath, 11 - Ryan Dowsett, 12 - Sam Swire. 13 - Josh Dolan,  Subs (all used)  :  14 - Callum Williamson, 15 - Nik Zalad, 16 - Joe Kenny, 17 - Ed Linford


Tries: Morris 4, Swire 2, Parks, Joy

Goals: Lee 7




U18 sides from Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary and Armed Forces Secondary played the first ever inter-school rugby league match. PBS dominated first half possession but the AFS defence was superb meaning the sides turned around scoreless. The second half followed a similar pattern, with personal pride taken in defence at the expense of attack, PBS coming closest with a 40 metre break that was ended by a despairing, last-ditch tackle. The game ending 0-0 but with much encouragement for the future.

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The RLEF has awarded Observer status to Ghana Rugby League, giving the sport its first official presence in West Africa.


The formation of GRL was initiated by the RLEF and UK Sport in June 2012 and an Association founded almost two years later by a Board of six Directors.


The inaugural Board is: President – Sylvester Wellington, Secretary – Eric Sena Adjeye, Treasurer – Alfred Attieku, Organizer – Marshal Nortey, Sponsorship Coordinator – Kofi Twumasi and Development Coordinator – Mohammed Rufei.


Sylvester Wellington, the driving force behind the sport’s progress in the country, is confident about its future in Ghana.


“Being Observers of the RLEF is a good reward for our hard work,” he said from Accra. “But we can't wait to achieve much greater things together with them and such as UK Sport International.”


“We will use this platform to achieve greater heights. The administrators and players who have come in contact with the sport have fallen in love with it.”


Remond Safi, RLEF Middle East Africa Regional Director, added: “it has been a great experience working with GRL and seeing the rapid growth rugby league has gained there. Many other West African nations can also follow the path set by them.”

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