The Board of the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has met and reviewed progress across a range of matters. The meeting is the last scheduled before the annual RLIF Congress which will be held in October in Sydney. Over 40 delegates from around the world have already committed to attend the event which will include attending the RLIF Downer World Cup 9’s which will take place at the new Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta, Sydney.
A report on the progress of the planning of the RLIF World Cup 2021 was discussed. This included the news that over 70 expressions of interest to participate in the Festival of World Cups have been received from the RLIF members and that all the proposed competitions are viable at this stage. Further planning will now continue to firm up the final make-up of the festival and to invite formal applications to participate.
The Board had previously approved the establishment of a suite of sub-committees and was updated on their population, with representation from Board members, confederation appointments, executives and external expert advice to support policy across the major issues for the sport.
The approved committees and working groups are:
Medical – which will ensure that there are compulsory minimum standards of care across the whole of international rugby league
Laws of the Game – which will constantly review the international laws of the game and consider all relevant changes, harmonising the current system and incorporating interpretations into an updated law book
Match Officials – which will be responsible for the core areas of appointments, development, fees for international competitions, pathways and qualifications frameworks
Women and girls’ rugby league – which will co-ordinate and drive the organisation of suitable international programmes across the world
Wheelchair rugby league – which will be responsible for driving forward the development of the wheelchair game
Rugby league football – which will constantly monitor and review all aspects related to the playing of rugby league, including its derivatives such as 9s and non-contact versions.
The committees will meet on a regular basis and feedback to the executive and Board to assist with decision making.
Discussing the new structure, Chair Graeme Thompson commented:
“This is a further indication of the maturing role of the RLIF. The amount of important work being generated by the executive team is now at a point where the Board requires support in assessing and overseeing all aspects of the sport. This committee structure is a modern reflection of that. We are able to share the workload across Board members, include members from both the APRLC and the RLEF and also from the wider membership where appropriate. Our executive will take a lead in supporting the committees and we will, of course, be bringing in expert opinion from both within the sport and outside where required.
“It’s one of those developments which form a fundamental part of any IF - with the right people in place offering solutions and assessing proposals, it will support dynamic and progressive decision making. It also demonstrates the growing breadth and the depth of the federation plus the increasing involvement of the membership.”
The evolution of the rolling 10-year calendar has been further fleshed out. Having already agreed biennial regional competitions from 2020 in June, the Board was presented a major events calendar from 2020-2030. Built around a commercial component, the calendar will be discussed at congress and is scheduled for recommendation by the second quarter of 2020.
The Board also considered a range of wider competition related matters which are in progress including undertaking market research around the staging of international events in various nations. Furthermore, the Board was encouraged by the progressive development of the APRLC organisation, with its new Board having met for a strategy session earlier in the month.