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The NNRLB have agreed terms with Sunergy/Rotterdam and Rotterdam City council to hold an International Nines tournament in the city on 7th August 2004. Plans are at an advanced stage with a world wide selection of developing League Federations showing interest.
Ian Thompson from the NNRLB explains the situation.
"We need help in our efforts to develop the game here in Holland and these International Nines are planned to give us a bigger profile both in the country and internationaly.We have had tremendous interest from some real development countries and if we can get only half of them to come to Holland we will have a great tournament. The limit for entries is set at sixteen with the format of the competition being four groups of four playing a round robin before progressing onto major and minor knockout competitions played over the one day".
Invitations have also been sent to top BARLA clubs in the Uk and Dutch Union clubs to give the competition a real international flavour. The NNRLB are being tight lipped about the federations and clubs who have expressed an interest.
"After a couple of false starts over the last twelve months the NNRLB will have all their plans and competing teams set in concerete before an official Launch of the 2004 Rotterdam International League Nines in early february 2004" continues the NNRLB spokesperson"but we are very excited about this tournament.Rotterdam is a great city and we are grateful to both the city council and the Rotterdam Rugby club for all their assistance in making this possible.The cost of travel to Holland is very reasonable and we are looking for a good mix of developing and more experienced clubs and countries to come and see what Holland Rugby League has to offer".
After the success of the international games against Scotland "A" and the Scottish Students in 2003 and the ground breaking "North Sea Challenge Between Dutch club Ter Werve and Essex Eels the NNRLB are looking for more International football to help them expand in the soccer mad nation. Until the line up is finalised entries are still being taken for the Nines and any club or Federation that want more infromation on the competition can email [email protected] for an information pack. Closing date for entries is 31st January 2004.