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Rugby League in the Netherlands

29 Apr 20, 10:48AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Since 2015, the NRLB Championship has been the premier Rugby League competition in the Netherlands as it looks to grow the game in the Northern European nation.

The league is currently made up of four teams, the Amsterdam Cobras, the Den Haag Knights, the Harderwijk Dolphins and the Rotterdam Pitbulls, with a fifth team in the Zwolle Wolves who were set to join the competition in 2020.

Only one former club has exited the competition in the North Brussels Gorillas who are still around today and were set to make an appearance in the Rotterdam 9’s tournament this year against their former Dutch opponents, however due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event has been cancelled.

In their only season apart of the league in 2015, the Gorillas would win the inaugural competition against the Den Haag Knights, who have appeared in every Grand Final in the NRLB’s short history, finally winning the big one in 2019.

The Rotterdam Pitbulls are the only team to have won two NRLB Championships thus far.

The league has recently joined forces with the Chasing Kangaroos Podcast for the next two years in a great business move that will get the league plenty of exposure.

Like many competitions around the world, unfortunately the NRLB Championship has been cancelled in 2020, however they will be back in 2021.

The Netherlands National team is also doing well at the moment, winning their past five matches, including wins over Sweden and Germany.

Speaking of Sweden, the two nations were set to face off again in May but due to the current pandemic this game has been postponed until 2021, with a development game against the Southern English Rugby League cancelled.

At this point they are still set to take on Germany on the 19th of September as this game is still yet to be called off or postponed.

Currently sitting 26th on the International Rugby League world rankings, they will take on Turkey twice in October 2020 and if they win will advance to the final of the European Championship D, where they will face either the Czech Republic or Malta with the winner being promoted to the European Championship C for the 2022 instalment of the tournament.

These games are subject to the current lockout laws being lifted but either way, rugby league in the Netherlands is certainly on the up!

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