The first America’s Rugby League steering committee meeting has taken place, with the group tasked to establish an agreed road map for the region to become a confederation in its own right.
Currently North America, Central America and the Caribbean come under the jurisdiction of the Rugby League European Federation, whilst the Asia Pacific Rugby League Confederation takes responsibility for South America.
The meeting was chaired by Romeo Monteith, RLEF’s regional director for the Americas. “Our initial, virtual meeting was an excellent start on our journey,” he said. “The committee reviewed our mandate and committed us to formulate a strategy to take us forward.”
The committee is made up of representatives from the six full, affiliate and observer members in the Americas, plus Monteith and RLEF general manager David Butler. The nation delegates are: Adrian Hall – Jamaica Rugby League Association; Billy Neilson – US Association Of Rugby League INC; Bob Jowett – Canada Rugby League Association; Juan David Espinal – Association Colombia Rugby League; Rod Millar – Federación de Rugby League Futbol 13 Chile and Zach Grundy – Confederação Brasileira de Rugby League.
The agenda included a review of the terms of reference, with Monteith then presenting the six stages of the roadmap to becoming a confederation. It is envisaged that it will take at least four years for all aspects of the plan to be achieved. Finally, the group discussed schedules for international competition across the Americas and identified future countries who are looking to start playing the sport.
Rod Millar noted: “RFL13Chile is extremely excited at the prospect of creating an Americas Confederation which will include taking ownership and control of rugby league in the whole region. We believe that member nations need to be in charge of our their destiny and the development of the game here and a confederation is the appropriate organisation to guide us into the future.”
Bob Jowett added: “Canada sees the formation of an Americas Confederation as an important step forward in promoting growth. The formation of a steering committee is an early and important step forward. It is likely to be a long process but with input from all nations, and under the auspices of the International Rugby League governing body, it will result in a stronger, more sustainable future for our fantastic sport here.”