The opening round of matches have been held in the new Spanish Rugby League Championship, which has been expanded to eight teams. The third season of domestic games will see the sides split into East – Valencia & Catalonia, and West – Madrid & Andalucía, conferences for the first time.
Aitor Davila, general secretary of AERL and National League manager said: “The Spanish league is growing every year in the number of participants and teams involved. In two years we have doubled the number of clubs which is one of the reasons why our national team is progressing so well in the World Cup qualifiers.”
Underpinning those conferences, the AERL has set up two regional leagues in Andalucía (South) and Valencia (East), with five teams each, together with a developmental league for 9’s tournaments and where new clubs can be developed. The challenge now is to ensure Madrid and Catalonia can match this level of development,” Davila added.
The AERL has also held their first phase of match official and coaching courses for 2015-6, in Coria del Río, Seville. Ten candidates, nine from the local team Coria Samurais and one from Mairena Crusaders who both play in the regional division, took part.
“We were very pleased with the standard that we found on the course,” said Tony Palacios, MO RLEF level 1 tutor. “We noticed that the level of understanding of the game is much greater than that found a year ago.”
A series of similar courses are now planned throughout the season to support the increasing development at club level, four in Andalucía and two each in Madrid and Valencia, with the next one scheduled for Malaga.