The community club rugby league season is off and running, with many clubs in full swing ahead of opening fixtures in March and April, and it's a great time to get involved either as a player or a volunteer at a club near you.
The London Youth, Junior & Primary League kicks off on Saturday 10th March with clubs all over the South East assembling for the opening season Junior League 9s at Under 13, Under 14 and Under 16 age groups. The primary age groups (Under 7s, Under 9s, Under 11s) follow on with their own festival programme shortly after Easter, though many clubs are already up and running now and looking for new playing members.
20 clubs are expected to take part in the league at one or more age groups this season, stretching from Southampton Spitfires and Sussex Merlins on the South Coast, all the way up to Eastern Rhinos in Essex. The latest club to join the fold are East Heath Eagles, a new club based in Dagenham, running a new primary rugby league section to take part in the festivals programme this summer. Jack Kendall, a former London Broncos academy player is starting up the new club, and is excited about getting a new group of young players involved in rugby league: “I had the opportunity to play rugby league with Phil Jones at London Broncos, and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to get more young players involved in rugby league and we’re really looking forward to growing the game in and around the London area and look forward to the new season kicking off”
Meanwhile the adult competitions are due to kick off in April with three competition tiers operating in 2018. Top clubs Hammersmith Hills Hoists and London Chargers have already traded blows after being drawn together in the first round of the Ladbrokes Challenge Cup, but the London Premier League, Championship and Merit Leagues all officially kick off in late April. A number of clubs run Masters, a modified format of the game for players aged 35+ years, whilst London Skolars, Brixton Bulls and Eastern Rhinos are all looking to provide female playing opportunities this season.
For a full list of clubs operating in London and the South East, head to our club finder here to get involved: www.myrugbyleagueclub.com