Nigeria hosting 2019 MEA Rugby League Championship in October

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Following a confirmation that Nigeria has met the conditions of the Rugby League International Federation,  the Nigerian Rugby League Association and newly fortified Nigerian rugby players will be the host for other  national teams of 4 countries in October this year, as they are also making their debut international tournament in the forthcoming 2019 Middle East-Africa Rugby League Championship, KBJOJO News authoritatively gathered.



The 2019 Middle East-Africa Rugby League Championship will be the second MEA Championship to be staged in Africa.

New Jersey for Nigerian rugby

The competition will commence  October 2nd  2019 at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria.

The competition, in an opening statement made by the Chief Executive of Rugby League  World  Cup 2021, Mr Jon Dutton during a well attended Reception organised by  Rugby League World Cup 2021 at the Nigerian High Commission on Tuesday in London will afford Nigeria opportunities for huge numbers of fans and stakeholders of rugby football across the world to tour Nigeria.

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“The Paul Barrière Trophy will also be making the journey, giving players, coaches and supporters a chance to see the famous trophy that 16 men’s nations will be competing for in 2021”, said Dutton.


The tournament in Nigeria will see the international debut of Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria, while Morocco will be playing for the first time since the last MEA Championship, eight years ago.


The reception jointly presided over by both team members of Nigeria Rugby League Association (NRLA) headed by Mr Ade Adebisi and the International Development Programme arm of Rugby League World Cup 2021  (RLWC2021) was aimed at sharing adequate information and sensitize Nigerians, and  create publicity awareness on the visit  by the international league body to Nigeria later this year.

According to information published  by the Rugby League International Federation on its website this will be the fourth RLWC2021 InspirationalALL legacy project international visit during the forthcoming tournament in Lagos

The Chief Regulatory Officer of the England’s s Rugby Football League, Karen Moorhouse, emphasized that the International Development Programme (IDP) team are excited to head for  Nigeria in October, following confirmation last month that Nigeria will host the Middle East -Africa Championship later this year.

Unveiling  the home Jersey of Nigeria Rugby players  for the tournament,  Mr Adebisi, General Manager of Nigeria Rugby League Association  called for  support of the second event in  Africa following the first in 2015 held in South Africa. The tournament will see four teams from across Africa compete over five days in Lagos. October 2nd – October 5th.

“This trip to Nigeria follows on from successful visits to the Netherlands in October, Papua New Guinea in November and Jamaica in April”, Nigerian High Commissioner commended the team.


The series of events, organised by the tournament’s InspirationALL team, aims to develop good practice and to share knowledge and experience with burgeoning rugby league nations.


The planned programme will see the RLWC2021 InspirationALL team hold workshops on governance, marketing, sport development and talent identification for the attending nations. Ahead of the trip, a delegation from RLWC2021  visited the Nigerian Embassy in London on May 28th.

Karen Moorhouse,  Chief Regulatory Officer of the England’s Rugby Football League in a chat with  KBJOJO News expressed optimisms that Nigeria’s has got a lot to gain from the tournament as it provides greater opportunities for sharing with Nigerians the successes recorded so far in England by working alongside the Rugby League International Federation, and with the backing of UK Sport. She believes the RLWC2021 International Development Programme  “visit to Nigeria by October would build partnerships to target barriers affecting the sport’s growth in developing nations”.


Executive Director of Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit, (NDDIS) Mr Bimbo Robert Folayan whose organisation provides support for Mr Ade Adebisi’s Nigeria Rugby League Association called for participation of Nigerians in diaspora  to take the advantage of sponsorship opportunities of the  game in Nigeria.

“NDDIS is providing support for the upcoming game in order to attract business owners and investors from diaspora to seize the various benefits of sponsorship openings and other marketing opportunities that Middle East-Africa Rugby League Championship is bringing to Nigeria”, Folayan emphasised.

[L-R] NDDIS Director, Mr Bimbo Folayan with Mr Ade Adebisi, General Manager of Nigeria Rugby League Association
Tracy Power, RLWC2021 Legacy Programme Manager, said: “The newly announced MEA 2019 tournament is very exciting. It will be fantastic for these burgeoning rugby league nations to come together and compete for a top honour.“For us it marks a unique opportunity to have delegates from several rugby league administrations in one place. The International Development Programme has been very successful so far and the MEA 2019 tournament is yet another opportunity to spread best practice and create networks of support between established and developing rugby league nations around the world.”Remond Safi, RLIF Middle East Africa Regional Director was reported to have said that, “having the International Development Programme organised in Nigeria will strengthen international relations between the regional members. This will provide further support to the RLIF objective of global growth and raise the profile and visibility of rugby league in the Middle East and Africa.”

Nigeria Rugby League Association called for sponsorship and active participation from across and all sectors.

Shalom Lloyd, showcasing #NaturallyTribal ( One of the emerging private sponsors of Nigeria Rugby League event) organic skincare products at the Reception in London.

“This is a well deserved opportunity for us to expand our potentials and tap into various opportunities that rugby game will give to Nigerians”, Adebisi said.

England is set to hold the Rugby League World Cup  event in 2021.

“The Rugby League World Cup 2021 will see 16 teams play 31 games over five weeks – all hoping to be crowned world champions in what is the pinnacle event in international Rugby League”, the statement reads.

Lashley Oladigbolu, editor-in-chief for KBJOJO News and Ade Adebisi, General Manager, NRLA posed with the trophy of World Cup Rugby League mounted inside the hall of Nigeria High Commission in London (28/5/19)

This Tournament will ” celebrate the diversity of cultures and countries playing and engaging with the game around the world.”

Below are other pictures from the event:

Compiled and Edited by Lashley Oladigbolu, NUJ Europe, London.

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