In the RLN domestic Championship:
Four-times Grand Final winners, Oslo Capitals now benefit from a feeder club, Lillestrøm Lions, which itself boasts a couple of internationals, while the northern-most outpost club, Bodø Barbarians (200km inside the Arctic Circle) have won the competition once and been runners up four times.
That duo are joined in the northern conference by defending champions Trondheim Rugby Klubb, founded in 2015 and runners up in their first season, with students making up the core of their team.
In the south, Flekkefjord Tigers have been in the top four, on four occasions – a notable achievement for a town of just 10,000 inhabitants. They are sustained by a significant amount of junior development in the area.
Flekkefjord compete against rapidly improving Porsgrunn Pirates and Sandnes Raiders (who joined last year), and newcomers Stavanger Storm who – thanks to the town’s oil-based economy – have a large expatriate player base to call on.
The RLN has also instituted a new development division, underneath the Championship, to support the sport’s growth.
As well as Lillestrøm, the village of Sparbu started a rugby league club last year which acts as a feeder to Bodø. Kragerø Rugby plays a similar role for Porsgrunn, whilst the Farsund Bobcats will feed players into the Flekkefjord Tigers.
Nannestad Norsemen, a new club situated next to Oslo’s main airport, was created earlier this year and is made up of 16 to 19 year-olds, many of whom played against Serbia.