9 Jul 2024

Almost 50 delegates representing 10 national federations will arrive in Belgrade on Tuesday 16 July for a technical education event for coaches and match officials, as part of the European Rugby League U19s Championship.

Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Czechia, Greece, Italy, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland and Serbia will be represented, with both courses having female candidates attending. It has been funded by a grant to the Serbia Rugby League Federation by Belgrade City Council, with all delegates aiming to gain a Level 1 qualification.

Around 30 coaches will be under the watchful eye of Martin Crick, ERL’s coaching manager, who will make use of the U19s Championship games on Wednesday 17 and Saturday 20 July as part of the candidate’s experience. Crick will be assisted by David Lahr of Czechia, one of European Rugby League’s most experienced coach educators. 

Concurrently, James Jones - Wales Rugby League’s head of match officials - will deliver their course which will involve input from the assembled Championship match officials squad and their coaches, Steve Hogan and former professional referee Thierry Alibert.

“I’m really grateful to Belgrade City Council and to the Serbia Rugby League Federation for supporting this initiative to increase technical capability in the participating nations,” commented Jovan Vujosevic, ERL’s European regional director. 

“The opportunity for the candidates to learn in a diverse group from other countries will help with networking, and for them to have live international games taking place that they can use to aid their learning is a huge bonus. It is a great opportunity for all and will make a difference to the region and the members in attendance.”

Both courses will use material developed over the last decade by ERL as part of their EU Erasmus+ Funded Technical Development projects and will be supported by video footage of international and professional games together with innovative table-top rugby league pitch set ups created by Steve Hogan using 3D printing and models based on the popular game Subbuteo.