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Despite not being accepted as members of the ERLF last month, Georgia, the newest League playing nation look set to play their first International match on May 7th 2005.
Nodar Andguladze the man behind League in the former Soviet state is keen to get a game under their belts before the Georgians head for the Victory Cup in Moscow later in the month.
When the Georgian Union team were playing in the World Cup down under they took in a few League games and were bitten by the bug.
A four team competition is set to begin around the capital Tbilisi next year and plans are at an advanced stage for Holland to visit the city to provide opposition in their first International hit out.
The Dutch after recieving support from the likes of Scotland, Serbia, Pro Plumb Essex Eels, Clock Face Miners. Heavy Woollen Donkeys, Nottingham and Broughton Red Rose in their own efforts to establish the game, know how important it is to assist other developing nations.
A party of 22 will fly to Tbilisi on Thursday May 5th and return on Sunday May 8th.
Without teams willing to support the efforts of the likes of Nodar and his Georgian initative European League will struggle to expand.
With the ERLF having little money (or motivation) to support these new nations everything is down to the individuals on the ground.
The NNRLB have already secured a sponsorship from Osheas Bar in Rotterdam to cover some of the travel costs to Tbilisi but the total cost of the tour is quite expensive so if there are any buisnessmen or companies who would like to support European development by sponsoring ,what will be a ground breaking tour, the NNRLB would like to invite you to contact them at [email protected] for more information.
Message from Nodar Andguladze..
Good to hear from you again my friend. Yes it is true that we are starting to play rugby league in Georgia. My father and I are taking care of the things here for rugby league. My father is the vice president of the Rugby league union and the boys are excited to play the new game.
We already have plans for the next year. We know the Australia u25 team will be coming to play us in Georgia next September before they go on tour. So we are looking for an easier competition before they come. We have contacts with Serbia and Canada Rugby leagues and we may be playing them sometime next year. We also would like to play Holland as well if you are interested. We need to get some experience before the big boys arrive from down under. So if you are interested please contact me and tell us when it is most convenient for you to play us.
The teams that have changed to rugby league have not been kicked out of the union. They will be playing the union competition as well as the rugby league competition. Now we just have to figure out if the national team players will be able to play League. If so we will have a decent team so rugby league nations watch out!!!! Georgia is coming to town.
Love from Georgia
Despite a few big scores against them in the Union world cup Georgia look as if they could follow Russia in giving League a foothold in Eastern Europe.