Rugby League has been played in Poland since 2011, when founder Lukasz Lucka discovered the game on the internet and decided it was the perfect sport for the youth of his home city, Lodz.
The forming of an association followed in 2015, and today (2 June 2017) the RLEF announces awarding Observer status to Polska Rugby XIII, national governing body of the sport in that country.
“This is a great milestone for us, and the best reward for all the hard work we have put in so far to develop rugby league in Poland,” said Lucka. “We look forward to kicking off a Polish rugby league championship and to playing our first full international later this year.”
Since the creation of Lodz Magpies, five more clubs have followed; Tomaszów Wild Bears, Sparta Brzeziny, Skierniewice Razorbacks, Stryków Bulls, and Wataha (‘the Wolfpack’) Piotrków Trybunalski. Polska Rugby XIII currently has a federation application lodged with the local authorities which will aid further recognition.
The governing body has set itself four core objectives: growth of the domestic competition, development of its workforce, raising profile to encourage broadening participation, and national team development, They intend to launch of a Nines tournament as a precursor to a full 13-a-side competition.