State of the Nation: Netherlands

Joel Morgan – 20/12/2011

Rugby League Planet interviewed the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond Chairman Mr Jason Bruygoms recently about the current situation of rugby league in Netherlands, its past and where it’s headed.

The Dutch are relatively new pioneers for rugby league within Northwestern Europe. Rugby league has regularly being played since 2003 under the NNRLB with small domestic growth along the way. The first rugby league club match was played between Te Werve Bustards (Den Haag) and touring Essex Eels. After rugby league ceased in 2008 a new board the Nederlandse Rugby League Bond (NRLB) was entrusted to administer and grow the game in the Netherlands in 2009 with Jason Bruygoms appointed as Chairman of the NRLB.

What many may not know is the Dutch actually participated in 1989 Student Rugby League World Cup in England, against Australia, England, France, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland and Scotland – with current RLIF International Development Manager Tas Baitieri even involved with coaching sessions. It is also reported the first rugby league match in Netherlands was a preparation match for the tournament against the French Army side at the Royal Military Academy in Breda. While in the late 1980’s they faced Toulouse to earn a 20 all draw.

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