14 Mar 2024

Norway will undertake their first youth international fixtures when they travel to Hradec Králové this weekend for a double header against Czechia.

The games at U16 and U19 level will be played on Saturday 16 March at the TJ Slavia Hradec Králové field, hosted by Slavia Rugby League Club with the U16s, playing 9-a-side, starting at 2.30pm and the U19s kicking off at 4.00pm local time.

Czechia have prepared for the matches with five training camps throughout the winter period. “We have many new faces on the team but they have proven their skills and dedication during the training camps, so we anticipate an exciting game,” commented Czechia U16s coach Tomáš Valenta.

“We are looking for a valuable experience for our players and a refresh of junior Czech Rugby League. Our ultimate goal for this and upcoming years is to have an independent junior competition which will start in the form of 9s tournaments and later become full-scale games.”

Tomáš Adamec takes charge of the U19s side and said: “We have undertaken several training camps with the main goal being for our players to get to know each other and adapt to the playing system we want them to practice during the game.

“The individual abilities of the players are the result of their work in clubs and they have moulded into a cohesive team that pulls together. We are expecting a good match and look forward to welcoming our friends from Norway.”

Norway, who are making the trip by coach, are relishing their first taste of international games at youth level. Tim Jones will take charge of both their sides and is looking forward to the challenge.

“Many of our players have only a little rugby league knowledge, but what they may lack in experience they make up for with a huge heart and a willingness to learn and develop,” he noted. “The progression has been huge and every time we come together our skill and understanding has improved.”

“As a coach, the score isn’t important for these games,” he added. “It’s the vital experience the boys will gain in a competitive environment against another national side. For our players, this is the start of their rugby league journey in Norway but it’s about where we end up and everything we achieve along the way.

“Nothing would make me happier than seeing young children playing regular competitive rugby league in Norway and having a successful youth pathway to the senior side.”

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