The second edition of the Rugby League Federation Ghana‘s (RLFG) Rugby League Championships kicks off today 23rd May 2021 at the University of Ghana (UG) Rugby Field.
Bulls Rugby League Club (RLC) will be looking to defend the title they won back in 2019 defeating Ghana Skolars and Accra Panthers but will this time have to take on one more opponent in newcomers Nungua Tigers.
Speaking to The Press Box about the upcoming championship was Men’s Coordinator for the RLFG, Riddick Alibah, who revealed that it’s anybody game this year “All the teams are very interested and ready [for the championship]. Everyone has the bragging rights now because the skill of each team has improved.”
Riddick also spoke about the new team joining the competition Nungua Tigers “They are very ready, they have been training consistently and they have had a couple of players join them and they have been training with everyone.”
This year’s edition sees some new innovations as the competition introduces a Women and Junior category.
After a successful campaign to get more women into the sport (Pretty Girls Play Rugby League), the Women’s Championship will now see Accra Panthers, Ghana Skolars and Nungua Tigers face off for the chance to make history and become the competition’s first champions.
The Juniors will also see Firm Foundation Rugby League Club and Africa Warriors take each other in a best out of five contest to determine the country’s first-ever junior champion.
The Press Box spoke with Youth Development Coordinator, Collins Ofosu, to get more details about the upcoming junior championship “All ready in the system we had a couple of teams that were already running but they didn’t have any competition to keep them occupied.”
“So it was just about bringing them together and creating the league and giving them the platform for their kids to be able to showcase their talent. So this is just bringing the kids that have been putting in work for a while now and giving them a tournament in order to play and display their skills.”
The competition will also see further development thanks to UK-based businesswoman Sara Gawa-McNiel who decided to sponsor the Rugby League Federation Ghana for the next 2 years (i.e. 2021 and 2022).
Gawa-McNiel who is of Ghanaian heritage and a keen supporter of the sport is looking to aid the federation in improving the men’s domestic competitions and developing more match officials and coaches, with a view to Ghana meeting the Full Member status of the International Rugby League (IRL) and European Rugby League (ERL) by the end of 2022
“As part of the Ghanaian community in the UK and a passionate fan of the sport, I am very pleased to see it already develop to such a level in Ghana in such a short time,” Gawa-McNiel said.
“Seeing the progress in both the men’s and women’s game is quite inspiring and I hope our contribution can help that blossom further.”
The 2021 Rugby League Championships kicks off today at 1 PM GMT at the UG Rugby Field and will run till 4th July 2021. You can catch today’s fixtures below.