Cents’ McMain part of Commonwealth Games exhibition

Len McMain

Len McMain - Credit: Archant

Rugby league is making a play to be integrated into future Commonwealth Games by hosting an exhibition tournament within Glasgow 2014, and St Albans Centurions’ physio Len McMain will be involved.

The lead up to the Commonwealth Games in Scotland will feature rugby league as an exhibition sport, with an U19s 9s Championship involving five of the six Commonwealth Regions.

The Rugby League Commonwealth Championship 2014 will be contested by South Africa, Canada, Jamaica, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia and Papua New Guinea, with the teams split into two groups.

McMain will be the physio for the Jamaican side throughout the tournament, which takes place over June 27-28. He has also got Cents’ Stuart Hall involved; he will help McMain and, when needed, take care of the South Africa team.

The idea of the competition is to showcase the sport as a future event in the Commonwealth Games.

“From small seeds big trees will grow,” said McMain.

“It will start off as an eight-team tournament but hopefully in the future it can be integrated into the Games and open it up to every nation in the Commonwealth.

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“It’s massive for the Jamaicans and South Africa because they’re representing the whole of the Carribean and Africa.”

The next Commonwealth Games, in 2018, will be held on Australia’s Gold Coast – a stronghold of the sport – where the plan is to again run a pre-Games exhibition, most likely at U23 level, with a view to 9s becoming a category two sport and eligible for full inclusion in the Commonwealth Games thereafter.

RLIF chairman Scott Carter added: “Since becoming a member of the CGF in 2011, rugby league has remained true to the message that shaped our application, that it is truly a sport of the Commonwealth.

“We are committed to working to develop the sport in these regions. Our grassroots work continues at a steady pace in Africa, for example, and it was important for the RLIF to bring together teams from all corners of the Commonwealth in what promises to be a true celebration of rugby league.”