U19 Commonwealth Rugby League Championship To Be Staged Before 2014 Commonwealth Games?

Rugby League was recognised by the Commonwealth Games Federation as a Tier 3 Sport or “Recognised sports, not yet eligible for inclusion” on 10 May 2011, which is behind Tier 2 – Optional Sports (if the host choose any) and Tier 1 – Core Sport (every games). It is believed eventually when Rugby league reaches a tier 1 or tier 2 sport it will be played under Rugby League 9’s.

The RLIF is expected to announce a U19 Commonwealth Rugby League Championship to be held on June 27 to 29 2014 in Scotland, which is just before the start of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on 23 July to 3 August.

The Rugby League Commonwealth Commitee is believed to yet provide guidelines to potential 2014 U19 Commonwealth Rugby League Championship nations, but judging by Article 24 on the Commonwealth Games Federation or CGF Constitution the competing nations should be born in the country with CITIZENSHIP/PASSPORT or represent “the Commonwealth country of birth of his/her father or mother that shares the same citizenship/passport from the competing country during a Commonwealth Games”.

Hopefully there is a mostly domestic players from each nation being more a development based event, although some “developing rugby league federations” with a lack of funding may not be able to without the English heritage player representation. This would possible be a great opportunity to start finding the best U18-U19 athletes next year interested (whether they currently play rugby league or union – obviously the union players should be participating in league beforehand) and using this Championship as a event for semi-pro or even Super League or  NRL club’s to potentially sign the best domestic players and develop them.

Looking through current nations or areas Rugby League is within there could potentially be: Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales, PNG, Samoa, Northern Ireland (although 2013 no rugby league in Ulster), Tonga, Scotland, Canada, Cook Islands, Jamaica, Malta, South Africa, Vanuatu and Ghana (new in 2013). Rugby League in Niue, Trinidad & Tobago, and Pakistan is listed on the RLIF and RLEF websites also, but remains to be seen if there is any rugby league in those nations yet (Pakistan have recently played or announced internationals in the Middle East and may have strong UK representation also, likewise Niue with heritage).

Unfortunately, Fiji remain suspended by the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG), therefore also the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)

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