IRL Roadmap for new Condeferations

11th October 2020

The Board of International Rugby League (IRL) has announced a six-step process to create new regional confederations for the administration of the sport. Currently IRL has two Associate Members who represent the confederations – Asia Pacific Rugby League (APRL) represents, broadly, the Southern Hemisphere and Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) represents the Northern Hemisphere. In recent years, there has been a rapid development of participation and membership in the Middle East Africa (MEA) region and the Americas, both north and south. The roadmap sets out clearly six steps from concept to membership, to achieve recognition. At each step there are objectives set to demonstrate best practice around governance, technical and competitions plus a membership criterion of a minimum of four full members and six affiliate members in the region. After consultation with members, including at the RLEF Congress, each region has already started the process of creating their steering group, drawn from the membership, to co-ordinate the project.

Graeme Thompson, IRL Deputy Chair and one of the architects of the roadmap alongside regional managers Remond Safi, (MEA) and Romeo Monteith (Americas), commented; "This is a welcome and timely development in our growth as an international sport. We have seen the rapid growth of rugby league in both the Americas and the MEA regions and it is entirely appropriate that we should be progressing them to self-govern within the overall IRL framework. This is a real collaboration with and between members in order to further support the international development of rugby league. I anticipate that it will take at least two years for the first new confederations to become Associate Members, but it is fantastic to see the commitment and the enthusiasm from the members and staff in the regions who are leading this project. They are both advanced in the process and we are all ready to support their efforts."

Americas Region Hold First Steering Group Meeting

3rd February 2021

The first America’s Rugby League steering committee meeting has taken place, with the group tasked to establish an agreed road map for the region to become a confederation in its own right. Currently North America, Central America and the Caribbean come under the jurisdiction of the Rugby League European Federation, whilst the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation takes responsibility for South America.

The meeting was chaired by Romeo Monteith, RLEF’s regional director for the Americas. "Our initial, virtual meeting was an excellent start on our journey,” he said. “The committee reviewed our mandate and committed us to formulating a strategy to take us forward." The committee is made up of representatives from the six full, affiliate and observer members in the Americas, plus Monteith and RLEF general manager David Butler. The nation delegates are: Adrian Hall – Jamaica Rugby League Association; Billy Neilson – US Association Of Rugby League INC; Bob Jowett - Canada Rugby League Association; Juan David Espinal – Association Colombia Rugby League; Rod Millar – Federación de Rugby League Futbol 13 Chile and Zach Grundy – Confederação Brasileira de Rugby League. The agenda included a review of the terms of reference, with Monteith then presenting the six stages of the roadmap to becoming a confederation. It is envisaged that it will take at least four years for all aspects of the plan to be achieved. Finally, the group discussed schedules for international competition across the Americas and identified future countries who are looking to start playing the sport. Rod Millar noted: "RFL13Chile is extremely excited at the prospect of creating an Americas Confederation which will include taking ownership and control of rugby league in the whole region. We believe that member nations need to be in charge of our their destiny and the development of the game here and a confederation is the appropriate organisation to guide us into the future." Bob Jowett added: "Canada sees the formation of an Americas Confederation as an important step forward in promoting growth. The formation of a steering committee is an early and important step forward. It is likely to be a long process but with input from all nations, and under the auspices of the International Rugby League governing body, it will result in a stronger, more sustainable future for our fantastic sport here."

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