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Seven nations represented in a week long gala:
The NNRLB ,who less than three months ago looked like calling it a day in their efforts to develop RL in Holland, can announce that the city of Rotterdam will host a week long RL festival in the first week of August 2004.
The main attraction will be the "Rotterdam International League Nines" to be played over one day on saturday 7th August.
A sixteen team limit was placed on the tournament, but with eighteen confirmed entries and enquiries still coming in the NNRLB may have to alter their plans a little to accomodate all the sides.
A variety of clubs from the new and the established through to the developing nations have entered, giving the line up a real international flavour with no less than seven nations represented.
The draw for the Nines tournament will be made at the "Official Opening Reception" to the Rotterdam International Rugby League Festival on friday August 6th when all the teams will be in attendance at the Sunergy Rotterdam Rugby Club.
The teams that will go into the hat are:
SO Avignon (France) West Indies RL Serbia Club Sportiff Berrechid (Morocco) Essex Eels ( England NL3) Rugby Club Rotterdam (Holland) Scotland Students 'A' Broughton Red Rose (England Cumberland ARL) Nottingham Outlaws ( England Summer Conference) England Students 'A' Castricumse RFC (Holland) Oxford University OB Serbia under 19's Scotland Under 19's England Students 'B' Scotland Students 'B' Mekka Boys (Holland) Nijmegen Rugby (Holland)
A real mix of teams and with four Dutch sides included it should prove to be an exciting tournament for the locals to get a taste of league ,many for the first time.
Interesting sides are the Morocans from Club Sportiff who will be playing their first tournament in Europe,the Serbian entries,the Dutch Union triple league, cup and play off winners Castricumse RFC and the Barbarian style Mekka Boys who supplied the back bone of the Dutch National side in last years Scotland games.
As well as the Rotterdam International League Nines the week will see a host of "internationals" played in the city with a three way tournament between the Dutch,Serbs and Scots at senior and under 19 level.
Holland and an International Nines Select will also play games against England Students. The agenda for the week is:
Tuesday Aug 3rd
Thursday Aug 5th
Scotland Under 19's v Serbia Under 19's Scotland Students v Serbia Holland Select v England Students 'A' Holland v England Students
Friday Aug 6th
Official Opening of the Rotterdam International League Festival and draw for the Nines tournament.
Saturday Aug 7th
Rotterdam International League Nines.
Sunday 8th Aug
Holland Under 19's v Serbia Under 19's Holland v Serbia International Select v England Students Closing of the "Rotterdam International Rugby League Festival".
An ambitious plan, but the NNRLB (with the assistance of Rotterdam RFC who will host the whole weeks events and Kevin Rudd at the Scottish RL) have worked very hard to ensure the event runs smoothly.
A real development week for Rugby League in Europe and the Rotterdam International RL Festival Committee are geared up to make this a major success.
With a meeting arranged at the city council to hopefully get "Official City Event" recognition and also negotiations with a Dutch TV company to cover the Nines tournament the NNRLB are confident of giving all teams,officials and supporters a real Dutch treat.