It is not just top level rugby league stars who travel the globe and make a difference, just ask the GB Pioneers who are about to tour Morocco.
The Pioneers are a squad predominantly made up by students that travel to up and coming rugby league countries, helping the development of the sport.
Formed in 2005, the inaugural tour was to Estonia and since then there have been successful trips to the Czech Republic, Latvia, Ukraine, Norway, Kazakhstan, Greeece and last year Poland. Each country has reaped the benefits by going on to play rugby league domestically and internationally at varying degrees.
Due to what the Pioneers set out to achieve, selection criteria considers not just playing ability but also a proven track record of development within rugby league. Selection is a recognition of an individual’s contribution to the sport, and current Team Captain Richard Squires is as excited as anyone.
Squires said, “We are really looking forward to getting over there and seeing what the Moroccan team has to throw at us.
“Even though this is my second tour with the Pioneers, Morocco will be completely different to Poland so even I don’t know what to expect.
“The training weekend couldn’t have gone any better, we gelled really well to say that we had never met each other before.”
Another positive to come out of the Pioneers tour is that with as many as 17 different universities being involved this year, rugby league in England is also clearly on the rise.