Penrith Panthers announce link-up with Canada Rugby League

NRL club Penrith Panthers have revealed a new link-up with the Canada Rugby League Association (CRLA), with its aim to help in the development of the next generation of Canadian players.

One aspect of the progamme is for the Panthers to invite select Canadian players over to Sydney to train and use NRL facilities.

The Canadian youngsters will also be given training and assistance from the St Mary’s Rugby League, who run sides in both the NSW Rugby League’s Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield competition.

Penrith District Rugby League Manager Phil Cummings is delighted that the project is continuing to progress.

“This programme (Canada Junior Wolverines Program) is in its third year and the first year for the Panthers NRL Club supporting Canada Rugby League,” he said.

“Phil Gould, executive general manager of the Panthers NRL club and Jim Jones (Panthers recruitment manager) have both offered their support behind the programme.”

CRLA President Paul O’Keefe is hoping that the project can give Canadian rugby league some real momentum.

“The CRLA has made Junior Development one of our major priorities and it’s exciting news for all young athletes in Canada who want to play rugby league,” he said.

“This is the perfect time to start working with the Panthers, with their new academy facilities going to be top class when completed in 2016, as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary.

“This will be an important asset as we work hard to be included in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Phil Gould and Jim Jones for their support on this programme.

“St Marys Rugby League Club and Phil Cummings for his incredible efforts ensuring the growth of our development programme for over three years now!”

There have been reports recently that the CRLA is aiming to have a local club playing in League 1 in the UK soon.

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