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Dutch venture lifted by 1895
St Helens-based amateurs Clock Face Miners have been aided ahead of their forthcoming visit to the Netherlands with a grant from 1895 International.
Clock Face will make history when they take on Rotterdam RFC in the Dutch side?s first ever game of rugby league on Saturday evening. Prior to the fixture the North-West Counties League outfit will carry out promotional activities in the Netherlands and will present their Dutch hosts with balls and training equipment, thanks to their grant from 1895 International.
Clock Face chairman Graham Leadbetter commented: ?1895 International were impressed with our commitment and plans for the weekend and we are grateful for their support. There will be plenty of work for our players to carry out once we arrive in Holland and our coach ? ex St Helens and Oldham professional Austin Donegan ? will be working with the local players prior to the game.
?We?re now looking forward to helping rugby league become established in the Netherlands and are pleased to be able to support the fantastic work that has already been carried out by the NNRLB.?
Clock face become the second English club to play in Holland since the game was re-established by the NNRLB ? led by former Cumbrian ex-patriot Ian Thompson - last year, following on from National League Three side Essex Eels? game against Te Werve Wolves last Autumn. This weekend?s fixture was almost scuppered by an insurance wrangle instigated by the Dutch rugby union authorities but, thanks to an intervention by European MP Terry Wynn and the support of Leeds-based Bartlett Insurance the groundbreaking encounter has been able to proceed.
1895 International chairman Lionel Hurst concluded: ?It is a privilege for us to be able to support this venture and, in particular, the missionary work being carried out by the NNRLB. However, this gesture has only been made possible by the kind support the rugby league community in the United Kingdom have given to the fundraising events that we have staged in the past nine months.
?A number of obstacles have been placed in the NNRLB?s path but the fact that this historic game is going ahead is an indication that they are serious about establishing our great game in the Netherlands and is hopefully the first of many victories to come.?
1895 International was established at Huddersfield?s historic George Hotel on August 29 2003 in order to aid the development of the game of rugby league around the world.
The organisation has already staged a number of successful fundraising events at the George Hotel and, as a result, has been able to provide assistance in a number of countries including Lebanon, Ireland and South Africa.