One week after a record crowd at the Rugby League World Cup final, Mancunians RL are very happy to announce the formation of an alliance with the Guzman y Gomez Latin Heat Rugby Club in Australia.
Mancunians will seek to recruit and welcome Latinos interested in Rugby League. Completing the alliance with Latin Heat there are now rugby league teams in both hemispheres assisting the growth of the game for expatriate South and Central American communities.
Strategically the sides are located in Australia and England, the leading hotbeds on either side of the globe for rugby league coaching, corporate support and existing infrastructure.
“Research indicates that there may be as many as one million people of Latin American heritage living in the UK,” GYG Latin Heat director Robert Burgin said.
“That means one million Latinos with access to rugby league fields, goalposts, expert coaching and the ability to watch the sport on TV.
“I know it may seem strange for a team called the Latin Heat to focus at this early stage on Australia and England, but it’s wise to establish foundations where equipment and interest is already present.
“Once we have these footholds in place and an international identity, the express aim is to commence grassroots and regional competitions in South and Central America.”
Currently South and Central America, home to 600 million people, is the last remaining occupied continent where there are no opportunities for international rugby league.
“A big reason for this alliance with Mancunians is because we instantly recognised how genuine they were about spreading rugby league,” said Burgin.
“They want to take rugby league to another level in Manchester – a city that, like much of South America, is dominated by soccer.
“Mancunians chairman Stefan Hopewell informs me their present squad contains players from Iraqi, Indian, Pakistani, Israeli and Nigerian backgrounds, so they are accustomed to sourcing players from non-traditional league backgrounds.
“I think for our players, whether they be based in England, Australia or South America, Manchester is a desirable destination where there is plenty happening and opportunities galore.”
Mancunians Chairman, Stefan Hopewell said. “This is a very innovative development and exposes the Mancunians brand to millions of potential new fans and players. We’re looking forward to working with Latin Heat to assist them to form their exiles team in the Northern Hemisphere. ”
“Mancunians have a proud history of innovation and this relation underscores the fact that we do things differently around here.”
For more information on Latin Heat Rugby League please visit www.facebook.com/SouthAmericanRugbyLeague or follow @latinheatrl on Twitter.