Mac hails expanison push
England boss pleased to see more nations playing rugby league
Last Updated: 26/03/11 2:44pm
McNamara: backing expansion
England coach Steve McNamara has paid tribute to the efforts being made to expand rugby league throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
The Rugby League European Federation are holding their inaugural technical coaching strategy course at London's Brunel University, with McNamara one of the speakers at the four-day event.
Over 50 delegates from 19 nations are attending, and the former Bradford boss says the number of people involved shows just how much the game has expanded.
"The number and diversity of the nations now involved in international rugby league is a great sign of our game's quality and appeal to new and existing audiences," he said.
"It also confirms the sport is truly developing beyond its existing boundaries."
For some, such as South Africa head coach Steven Van Zyl, the course is forming a key part of their preparation for the 2013 World Cup.
Van Zyl, who is the nephew of St Helens legend Tom Van Vollenhoven, faces qualifying clashes with the United States and Jamaica during the autumn.
"The course is great. I can take this back to South Africa for our new coaches coming out of a union-orientated environment. This will be good for them," he said.
"I think we've got a great future irrespective of the union pressure. We've got a lot of passionate board members that would like to see rugby league go forward in South Africa.
"We haven't won a Test match yet but we're getting there and there's a great future for rugby league in South Africa.
"At every Rhinos game, my uncle Tom will come up to me and give me a big hug and say 'Steve this is the one we'll win'. It motivates you. He's passionate."