2020 NZUTSRL v Southern Zone
Christchurch, Nov 7th
2022 Student World Cup
New Zealand Universities Rugby League (NZURL) played their first official game in 1968.
Since then, there have been a few changes to the name: NZU 1968 - 1996, NZ Students 1997 - 2000 and its current iteration, New Zealand Universities and Tertiary Students Rugby League (NZUTSRL).
Numerous students, coaches and administartors have contributed to the survival and growth of rugby league in this largely untapped area of the sport. Among the more notable participants during this time have included: Cec Mountford, Lory Blanchard, Howie Tamati, John Fiso, Tea Ropati and Esene Faimalo.
In recent times, NZUTSRL has worked hard to bring rugby league back to the students. The Wellington 9s and various tours for both men and women have given many students the opportunity to enjoy the sport at a higher level as well as enjoy new life experiences away from the rigours of student life.
Wellington 9s has been a very succesful tournament for men and women which has attracted teams from Dunedin all the way up to Auckland. Otago University have been champions for two consecutive years and will be favourites to do a three-peat in 2020.
In 2018, NZUTSRL embarked on a tour to the UK. While the honours were shared with England Universities, the experience was successful in giving a number of new players the chance to play at a high level and to see the professional and semi-professional rugby league environment up close. Needless to say, it was the trip of a lifetime for all involved.
The growth of NZUTSRL Women's rugby league continued with a highly enjoyable and very successful tour of Canada and USA. History was made as the first ever women's team, made up from students from Dunedin to Auckland, went through unbeaten in their tour. No doubt the Women's team will be a force at next year's World Cup in England.
In 2019, NZUTSRL Men embarked on a tour to Fiji to participate in a four team tournament including two local Fijian University teams and Australian Universities. While both Australian Universities and the Fijian Universities were tough opponents, the tour proved to be extremely valuable development for potential players to go to next year's Student Rugby League World.
One lasting memory from the tour involved the team running a sports module for local school children. The interaction between the players and the kids was magic. Beaming smiles and high-pitched laughter ensured the experience would never be forgotten, by either side.
World Cup 2022
* With the Covid 19 pandemic, the Student World Cup for 2021is likely to to be affected.
NZUTSRL will send a men's and women's team to England in 2021 to contest the Student World Cup.
The Tertiary Student Rugby League World Cup, also known as the University Rugby League World Cup, first took place in 1986 in New Zealand, when the then five test nations each entered a side in what was the first non-first grade World Cup hosted by the Rugby League International Federation.
The value of the Tertiary level to Rugby League in terms of spreading the sport, particularly in countries like Great Britain, France and New Zealand, led to a World Cup being created as an incentive to help grow this level of the game.
Since 1986, five more tournaments have been held, and sixteen different nations have taken part. The benefits the tournament has provided to the sport cannot be doubted, with strong Tertiary competitions now existing in England, Wales, France, New Zealand, Australia, and new ones developing.
Whilst the 2008 tournament will not be the largest Tertiary Student Rugby League World Cup ever held, it will still play an important role in the game at this level, continuing to give a platform for players and nations to strive for. (Wikipedia)
New Zealand have proudly won the tournament three times (1986, 1999 and 2005).
Let us know if you are interested in being considered for NZUTSRL