Troy Grant thanks members of International Rugby League

Published by IntRL
22 Dec 2021

International Rugby League (IRL) Chair, Troy Grant has given the members of IRL an update on progress of the federation and thanked them for all of their efforts in 2021. The message was a part of his regular meet and greet programme aimed at ensuring clear and regular communication with the membership.

Since taking the chair in February 2021, Grant has conducted three other similar events and sees it as a vital part of the relationship between the international federation and all its members. “I think clear and regular communication is at the heart of every healthy relationship. The past two years have been amongst the most challenging in the history of not just rugby league but all sport. Members have been struggling and ensuring that they have full and regular access to information has been essential.”

“Despite the on-going challenges in the face of Covid-19, which caused the most severe blow, the postponement of our much-anticipated world cup, international rugby league has still managed to make some progress in 2021. Four new members have joined IRL, they are: Philippines, Japan, Montenegro and El Salvador and most recently, Kenya have had their application recommended for approval by the Board.  We also saw Cameroon and Morocco elevate their status from observer to affiliate membership. I would like to welcome and congratulate them all on the hard work that has got them to this point and wish them well for their future development.”

“The work of a high-functioning international federation involves a great deal of unheralded detail, and I would like to thank Danny Kazandjian, our secretary general and his small team of staff and volunteers who have diligently ensured that the important work has continued.

“We have seen excellent input from our advisory groups. They provide expert input to support women and girls, wheelchair, technical education, anti-doping advice and classification frameworks for our PDRL players. I thank all the members of those groups for their support.

“The important part for all of us is to see the game played and growing. I cannot go through each member’s competition, but it has been fantastic to see so many domestic competitions for men, women, young players, wheelchair players and players with disabilities. The efforts to play and conclude competitions against the current backdrop have been immense. The challenges of competing internationally have been even greater but we still managed to have 23 senior international games played across men, women, and wheelchair.  Included in this number were Philippines and Montenegro playing their first senior matches at any level plus Ireland and Wales both playing their first senior women’s internationals too.”

“We look forward to 2022 with great confidence. The world cup still promises to be the biggest and best ever, hopefully we will see more members emerging from restrictions and enjoying domestic and international competition and we are confident of major progress in the arrangements for RLWC2025 and the establishment of the most comprehensive calendar for international rugby league.

“In conclusion, I thank the members for their efforts and their support, and I wish players, coaches, administrators, volunteers and fans in every corner of the world a healthy and prosperous 2022.”