The Executive Committee of Rugby League Ireland (RLI) are today delighted to announce their application to be recognised as a National Sporting Body by the Irish Sports Council (ISC) has been approved.
Following the completion of the application process by RLI which was started in 2009 the ISC approved the application at a meeting of their council on the 1st of November.
Speaking about the announcement RLI General Manager Gordon Matthews said; “It’s great to get recognition from the Sports Council as we continue to grow as a sport. We look forward to working alongside the ISC to develop the game here.”
“Rugby league has seen a large growth in Ireland over the last couple of years and are hopeful of that growth continuing in the future.”
“We would like to thank the Irish Sports Council for their help throughout the application process. We would also like to thank our members who have assisted throughout.”
The announcement comes just days after RLI recorded their highest ever attendance at a rugby league game in Ireland when 3,100 people turned out to see Ireland take on France in Thomond Park.
While the match ended in a 34-16 defeat it was another positive development for the sport in Ireland which has seen unheralded growth since 2009.
RLI currently oversees the running of domestic competitions throughout Ireland as well as representative teams including the Senior International team, ‘A’ team and the Irish Students.
During the 2009 season only six clubs took part in the national competition. However, this has now increased to over twenty clubs playing out of Ulster, Leinster and Munster.
On top of this growth 2010 saw the first ever under age club game to take place in Ireland when Tallaght and Clondalkin under 18 sides faced off in Tallaght Stadium. This was followed by the first Universities game between Limerick IT and IT Tralee in 2011.
The announcement from the ISC will undoubtedly help with the development of Rugby League in Ireland as the organisation look to expand the game even further.