The Rugby League Federation Ghana (RLFG) has been making waves in world rugby league since being revitalised back in 2014; From holding the first ever University of Ghana (UG) Rugby League Inter-Hall Games back in March 2016 to finishing 3rd in the maiden edition of the Middle East-Africa (MEA) Rugby League Championships held back in October 2019. The federation doesn’t seem to be slowing its efforts in its goal of reaching the 2025 Rugby League World Cup (RLWC2025).
“This marks a significant milestone in our journey towards participation in RLWC2025 [2025 Rugby League World Cup] and obtaining full membership.” General Secretary of the RLFG, Kareem Captan, said after the country was upgraded from its observer status to affiliate membership back in November 2020.
And as the RLFG continues to look towards the future and participation at the RLWC2025, the establishment of a juvenile rugby league seems to be at the top of the federation’s list and General Manager of the RLFG, Jafaru Mustapha, is looking at February 2021 as a possible date for such an event to take place.
“We are looking at around somewhere February, we will play like we are playing the series [Rugby 9s], the idea is to have the ladies and the youth every third Sunday of the month, and every last Sunday the men are going to play.”
RLFG Youth Development Coordinator, Collins Ofosu, also gave his thoughts as to when we could see a juvenile rugby league saying he believes the kids will be ready for competitions mid-2021
“I think they will be ready by mid next year because they really picked up quite early, their passes are good, their skills are sharpening basically they have had really good coaches who have been able to steer them in the right direction.”
“So I think mid next year they should be up to the level where they can go aggressive, full-contact and play the sports safely.” Collins further stated
Currently, the RLFG have 4 juvenile clubs but according to Collins there are plans to set up a juvenile team for every men’s division club “Currently we have four teams, we have the Firm Foundation, we have Demo Giants, we have Tigers Junior Rugby League Club (JRLC) and we have African Warriors Junior Rugby League Club.”
“With the already existing rugby league clubs, we are trying to have junior sides attached to them in order to help for the growth and development of the sports. So all these clubs at the domestic level will have junior clubs under them who they can mentor.”
So with juvenile rugby league expected to kick-off in 2021, we have to ask; When will we get to see the newly formed 5 female rugby league clubs take each other on? Well according to popular RLFG Women’s Coordinator, Rachel Ankomah, we could be seeing a female event around the same time frame.
“We have already made provisions that [female rugby league competition] but most of the ladies are new to the sport so we might not start with the contact yet, so we are planning on starting with Touch Rugby.
“So our plan is that the ladies will play curtain raisers for the matches from January  and along the line when they get used to the contact we might organise a female tournament.” She further stated
This is supported by RLFG General Manager, Jafaru Mustapha, who said “We are giving ourselves up to May  or ending of 2021 to get them [female players] into contact. So, for now, they’ll just be playing touch till we feel they are okay.”
“Even yesterday they were showing signs they can tackle, they can hold. So it might come very fast but for now, the plan is to keep it at touch [rugby league].”