Just as FIRL, the governing body of Italian Rugby League has announced its 2011 domestic schedule, in doing so, they plan to raise the awareness, profile and standard of the competition, as they aim to be playing at the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
World Cup qualifiers are scheduled to be held in order to find the 30-man squad to take to the tournament should they qualify, under the watchful of newly appointed Assistant Technical Director, Paul Broadbent.
Matthew Sands, a 12-cap veteran for the Italian side, says that it is an honour to have Paul in the corner as they prepare themselves.
â€œItâ€™s a great honour to have a coach of the calibre of Paul within the ranks, Iâ€™m sure he will bring knowledge andÂ professionalism to the team which will help us make a big step up in quality”, says Sands.
â€œThe camps that FIRL are organising will give the players the opportunity to improve theirÂ individual skills and some technical aspects of Rugby 13, personally I canâ€™t wait to get to theÂ trials and try to demonstrate that I have the level required to represent my country.â€
Alessandro Cuemo has also been a key factor in the whole situation, helping get a team from Milan off the ground, who will be based at Cernusco Sul Naviglio.
â€œWe have worked in a serious and professional way in conjunction with FIRL to establish a rugby league reality in Milan,” he said.
“FIRL has presented a medium to long term project to develop necessary skills and shape the sportÂ in the area, which we have embraced with a lot of enthusiasm.â€
FIRL SCHEDULE 2011