Simon Cooper, the man who began rugby league in Germany in 2004, has stepped down from the Board of NRLD, the country’s governing body of the sport, due to ill health.
Bob Doughton, NRLD President paid tribute saying “Simon was instrumental in establishing rugby league in Germany and since then the sport has been enjoyed by many thousands of Germans. We thank Simon, pay tribute to his legacy and wish Simon the very best for the future. He will be missed”.
Chris Thair RLEF General Manager said “Through adversity rugby league has grown internationally due to Simon Cooper and many people like him. Volunteers whose only wish is to ensure the joy the sport has brought them can be passed onto other people. After over 15 years of volunteering and assisting the sports growth in Germany it is only fitting we pay tribute. We wish Simon the very best and ask anybody out there who wishes to get involved in Rugby League in Germany to get in touch with NRLD firstname.lastname@example.org.“
Rugby League in Germany has grown to the extent there is a domestic club competition, activity in schools and they regularly play international games. Most recently beating the Czech Republic however losing to Norway in a World Cup qualification game.
Euro C group winners Norway were recently beaten by Greece in an exciting world cup qualification game.
Greece now join Scotland and Russia in the final qualification group for the 2021RLWC to be staged in England. The other group consists of Ireland, Italy and Spain and two nations from each group will go through to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup. England, France and Wales have already qualified from Europe.