India has become the latest team to commit to sending a side to the forthcoming Emerging Nations World Championship next year.
The groundbreaking tournament, which will take place in Sydney next October and November, now has 13 sides committed to taking part. And India are the fifth Asian side to join the tournament, following on from Thailand, Hong Kong, Philippines and Japan.
The team will be predominantly made up of players from the Rugby League Federation of India (RLFI) competitions which are based out of Kerala, on the west of the country.
The RLFI’s predominant focus since its formation in 2015 has been on junior rugby, which age groups from under-15s to under-17s hosting championships in India this year.
But now, the RLFI are aiming to take the next step and form an open-age competition, which revolves around India’s participation in the ENWC next year. And incredibly, it would be the nation’s first ever international rugby league match.
The Emerging Nations World Championship is set to feature at least 16 Tier Two and Tier Three nations, with additional participants set to be announced in 2018. The likes of Canada, Malta, Hungary and Latvia are already participating.