14 Jun 2011

Rugby League Norge has announced a 33-man train-on squad for the European Shield, as they build up for matches against Germany next month and then Malta in September. Vikingene head coach Craig West, who takes up his role with the home opener against the Germans on 9th July, is keen to make a mark. “I am looking forward to working with Norway's national team and I’m sure that if the guys work hard, then maybe we might be able to turn a few heads this year. As long as every player gets better and learns more about the game, I am more than happy with that.”

West will have to blend players from the five team domestic YIT Premiership with English and Australian players including the Haigh brothers, Lars and Nil, from Saddleworth Rangers. Oslo Capitals provides the largest contingent, with seven players selected. Rugby League Norge is now in its second year of domestic championships. The Norwegians have taken to the game quite rapidly and this season the competition has a premium sponsor.

The Tromsø Polar Bears Rugby League Klubb, who have created history by becoming the northern-most rugby club of either code in the world, are the team to beat in the early stages of this year’s championship, with three wins from as many games, the latest a convincing 36-12 win over title hopefuls Oslo Capitals. RLN CEO Warren Heilig said, “The Polar Bears are quite a big and physical team and opposition sides that head up there will definitely be coming home knowing they played a match. I am very excited by how quickly our game is growing and the public in Tromsø are hugely supportive of their local team.”

The league now enjoys a local derby between Aker Seagulls and Oslo Capitals while Fredrikstad Falcons and competition favourites Flisbyen Broncos of Lillestrøm complete the line up. Tromsø coach Isaac Schmidt is happy about the progress his club is making in the local community. “It is good to see many of the boys really getting into playing up here,” he commented. “A lot of people around the city are now talking about rugby league and that makes all of us very proud.”

Erlend Meldalen, Trym Vindahl (Aker Seagulls); Sakaraia Ravonokula, Trent Rowan (Bergen); Kim Ingebrigsten (Deception Bay Bombers, Australia); Kristoffer Milligan (Flekkefjord); Daniel Fagerås, Eric Sonny Mellor, Daniel Rossetvik, Eirik Smidt Sagstuen  Martin Smidt Sagstuen, Robin Svendsen (Flisbyen Broncos); Warren Heilig, Tommy Kjøniksen, Alexander Rønning, Jørgen Schmidt, Kristian Ytterdahl Elgheim (Fredrikstad Falcons); Tye Ingebrigsten (Mackay Cutters, Australia); Ben Coon, Peter Engeland, Even Gauslaa, Cameron Leslie, Anders Linnestå, Nick Palmer, Fredrik Skovly (Oslo Capitals); Lars Haigh, Nils Haigh (Saddleworth Rangers, England); Shelton Travis Davis (Sandefjord); Kristoffer Borsheim (Stavanger); Joakim Jaksland, Isaac Schmidt, Joshua Skidmore Hornby (Tromsø Polar Bears)