By Conor Kelly, Date: 15/8/13

Rugby League Ireland (RLI) are delighted to announce that SportNI have now granted full recognition as the governing body of rugby league in Northern Ireland.

Following an initial application for recognition in August 2012 SportNI confirmed on the 7th of August that the application had been successful.

Rugby league in Northern Ireland has developed strongly over the past number of years. This could be seen clearly at the beginning of 2013 when Matty Hadden, Kenny Calladine and JJ Baird were all signed by Oxford RL to play in Championship 1.

Speaking on the announcement RLI General Manager Gordon Matthews said; “Over the last four years we have seen rugby league in Northern Ireland expand rapidly. In 2008 we had one club but in 2012 seven teams participated in the Ulster League.”

“Receiving full recognition is a massive plus for the sport and we hope that it will help us to continue to develop the game in Northern Ireland for many years to come.”

“We would like to thank SportsNI for their assistance throughout the application process as well as all the volunteers who have helped develop the game in the area.”