It was meant to mark the start of a historic occasion for rugby league in Poland, as they looked forward to the opportunity to play in their first ever rugby league international against Hungary, on November 24.
That historic occasion may now be in jeopardy, however, as monetary issues are a major concern for rugby league in Poland, threatening to end their dreams of playing in their first ever international.
Lukasz Lucka, the halfback for the Polish side, said that if they do not raise enough money before their clash against Hungary, the game between the two nations may be called off.
“Our first international would be a huge step forward for us,” Lucka said.
“It would be a sign to the Rugby League European Federation that Polish rugby league is growing and making progress,” he said.
“And for the players themselves it would b
e an unforgettable experience and a real motivation to train. They are hungry to play, and could do with some matches before the long Polish winter hits,” he added.
Rugby League in Poland has slowly progressed over the last couple of years, but they still only have one major team, the Lodz Magpies – where grassroots footy in Poland began.
In order to become a recognised nation and become a part of the Rugby League European Federation, Polish rugby league requires two more teams to join a competition.
The ball started rolling when a host of players who had never picked up a league ball in their life, started playing the game – with the team wearing donated kits, and makeshift goal posts created, just to play a game of rugby league.
Despite their monetary issues, however, and the huge challenges that they face moving forward, the Polish team is determined to test themselves on the international level.
“We're having to work on the assumption that the Hungary trip won't go ahead. We're eyeing games in Greece or Italy in February,” said Lucka.