12 Sep 2012

Gozo Rugby Club, a Malta Rugby League foundation club, recently made a series of announcements which included the launch of a club logo, new playing kit and a three-year major sponsorship deal following a press conference at the NGO Centre in Xewkija, Gozo.

The club’s new logo was selected after a members vote and features the club’s formation date (2011) and a rugby player with ‘the three hills’ in the foreground - a synonymous icon of the calypso isle. With players parading in the team’s new kit that is based on a green and white colour scheme, player-coach and founder Clifford Debattista also announced a three year sponsorship deal with Ta’ Mattew Fish Farms Ltd.

Debattista said the support of Ta’ Mattew Fish Farms Ltd was greatly thanks to owner Mr Raymond Bugeja’s love for the island of Gozo.

Mr Bugeja commented: “I have family from Gozo and it is a pleasure to give something back to the island, especially to the Gozo Rugby Club who are a new and enthusiastic team in a sport gaining good ground on the Maltese Islands”

Debattista added “This is a wish come true, I have wished for a rugby club in Gozo from the day I was looking to play the sport myself five years ago but I had to go to Malta to practice the sport I love, however on this glorious day one could say we officially have our own Gozo Rugby Club, registered with KMS (Malta Sports Council), and I look forward to keep working hard to help this club grow on this island”

Three Gozo RC players also feature in the Malta national team's preparations for their Dove Men+Care International Series clash against Denmark in Copenhagen on September 29.

Gozitans Gary Hili, Shan Francois Hussain and national team vice captain Clifford Debattista are three of at least eight domestic players expected to take the field against Denmark later this month after the Maltese came from behind in June to record a 24-12 victory at Hamrun.

Head coach Anthony Micallef's preparations are traveling accordingly with his UK based players featuring in a tournament aimed at Exiles teams last weekend in Leeds.

The Maltese Exiles placed third at the tournament, defeating Great Britain Teachers and The Celts before falling 6-0 to eventual finalists Fiji UK. From the UK, Micallef this week added London Broncos academy player and Malta born Jonathan Magrin to his national team squad along with London Skolars hooker Danny Burke.

In Australia, where the MRL is focusing on youth development through the Maltese Heritage Rugby League, a 40-man train on squad was named ahead of the U16's Origin Harmony Cup in Sydney. Former Malta assistant coach Tony Farr is preparing the team with the MRL looking to encourage overseas based players to push for national team selection through set development pathways.