The Nigeria Rugby League (NRL) was on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 officially unveiled at the Nigerian High Commission in London and present was Ambassador George Adesola Oguntade, CFR, CON, High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Kingdom, Completesports.com reports.
Former London Skolars and Whitehaven winger, Ade Adebisi who is the General Manager and Vice President of the NRL spoke to Sky Sports on his vision to grow Rugby League in Nigeria.
Adebisi said: “The potential of Rugby League in Nigeria is massive, we have quite a lot of players of Nigerian heritage in the UK and Australia like Sodiq Adebiyi who plays for London Broncos, we have done well with our recruitments but we think we can do more by getting ourselves out there.
“We are not just starting from scratch, we have been working at the background for the last two years but it is just now that it has become mainstream. We have the school system in Nigeria and we are also trying to get into the university system, we are doing a lot, especially with the up-coming MEA championship.
“The MEA championship is going to be a big deal in Nigeria, not just Nigeria alone but Africa and even the Middle-East, it is going to be the biggest thing and the only televised Rugby League tournament outside the World Cup. We will have Morocco, Cameroon, Ghana who are all going to come to Nigeria for the MEA championship which will serve as pre-qualification for the World Cup.
“And in 2020, we have the big boys such as South Africa and Lebanon coming to Nigeria and if we get a good go at it this year, we could get a whole lot of Nigerians who know nothing about the game get more involved and we want people to be proud of playing for Nigeria.”