FAR & WIDE: Number 20

Far & WideBy STEVE MASCORD
THE battle for control of the game in Italy has heated up with the establishment Italian Rugby League holding a meeting with the national Olympic Committee, CONI.
As keen rugby league fans would be aware, the two countries making their World Cup bows later this year – Italy and the United States – both have rebel competitions.
Speaking on the European Federation website, FIRL vice-president Tiziano Franchini says: “The meeting was crucial for the future of rugby league in Italy.
“Our request for an interview was received by the secretary general in a very quick and positive manner.
“This first meeting was an opportunity to make formal contact with the national body that manages the sport in Italy, to carry forward the process of official recognition of rugby league here.”
As hard as it is for Australians to understand, rugby league struggles in some countries to get official recognition as a separate sport to rugby union. In South Africa, the league was told by the sports ministry to affiliate with the SARU!
But we are happy to say the Trinidad and Tobago Rugby League has just been handed official government recognition.
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THE Russian national team may show up to the European championships without jerseys!
They are due to play Serbia on May 25 but are still desperately looking for a kit sponsor. It’s too cold in Europe this time of year to play naked.
As detailed above, the Russian Ministry of Sport doesn’t recognise rugby league. Russian deputy minister of sport Pavel Kolobkov is currently considering a new application for recognition.
In the meantime, if you can help the Russians with jerseys to compete on the international stage, please email webmaster@rugbyleagueplanet.com
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IN case you missed it, Mal Meninga has joined the PNG Kumuls management team.
Mal, who formerly was an ambassador for the country’s NRL bid team, has the role of performance director.
Adrian Lam is back as coach and Gold Coast winger David Mead has re-committed himself to the cause after a falling out with the previous administration.

MAHE Fonua was not the only Victorian junior on the field when Melbourne took on Canterbury on Thursday night.
Bulldogs fullback Drury Low played his junior football at the Waverley-Oakleigh and Altona clubs in the VRL. He represented Victoria in Under 15s and under 18s, playing alongside Gareth Widdop in the latter team.

Don’t forget to follow @RLWfarandwide on Twitter.

Filed for: RUGBY LEAGUE WEEK

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