Whilst there is the usual sprinkling of Rugby League going on across Super League and the Kingstone Press Championships this weekend, up in North Lanarkshire, there is a whole other tournament taking place that may have evaded your attention.
The Commonwealth Games take place in Glasgow next month but, as a precursor to that event, the Rugby League Commonwealth Championship 2014 will be contested by South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and Papua New Guinea, with the teams split into two groups.
The matches will take place on Friday and Saturday as the 9s format looks to continue to spread the sport on the international stage. With the next Commonwealth Games taking place on the Gold Coast, it is hoped that this event can put 9s RL on the map.
And the brilliant thing is, if you’re in the area and want to take in some action, the event is FREE! If you’ve never seen 9s rugby before, then you should get involved and head to the event. Or, barring that, you can always tune in when the event is replayed on Premier Sports next week.
The players for the event are coming from far and wide, with a host of English amateur clubs being represented to make up the RFL’s side for the tournament. However, it is the Canadians who perhaps garner the most interest, given how their team is composed of American footballers, an ultimate frisbee champion and plenty of Rugby Union converts.
Rugby League Commonwealth Championship 2014 – Format
Pool A: Australia (ranked 1), Wales (6), Scotland (11), Jamaica (23)
Pool B: England (3), PNG (7), Canada (16), South Africa (25)
Day 1 (27th June) – Pool games
Day 2 (28th June) – Semis and Finals (5 matches per nation total)