In a first for rugby league in the country, Norge RL has announced its inaugural youth international, their U19s set to face Serbia U18s on 7 May, in Nannestad, 60km north of Oslo.
Joshua Skidmore-Hornby, head coach of the Norwegian side commented: “We are very excited, and it is with great gratitude to Serbia for coming over, that this dream has become a reality. We have been slowly building towards this with several youth camps over the last few years.
“We will now put our boys to the test against a well-established team. Regardless of the result, the experience for the boys involved will be extremely valuable for our future development. However, we are expecting the Viking blood running through the veins of these young warriors to be at the fore.”
RLN official Kim Seglem added: “We are all looking forward to this, we have more youth involved than ever. Last year we saw several youngsters step up and begin playing open age rugby league. The future looks bright for RLN. Some clubs are working on having U19 teams playing curtain-raisers to the domestic competition.”
The Serbians are also breaking new ground, playing their first international fixture in Scandinavia. “This event shows that our sport is growing and we put a lot of our effort into being a part of it and making new connections,” said Serbia RL general manager Slobodan Manak.
“RLN are making us welcome and our boys can’t wait to go there and meet new opponents. I hope that this is going to be just the start of co-operation between the nations and that we will meet more often in the future.”