Mark Ramsdale, NRL
NRL chief executive Dave Smith will address British Members of Parliament at a meeting of the UK's Parliamentary Rugby League Group, just days before the RLWC2013 final.
Smith's visit is the second successive meeting of the Group to have an international focus and take place during the World Cup; on October 29 Rugby League International Federation Chairman and chairman of New Zealand Rugby League Scott Carter spoke to the Group about the sport's position and development around the world.
Open to all MPs and peers, as well as associate members from outside Parliament, the Group has the sole purpose of supporting the sport of rugby league football, something it has been doing for 25 years. The Group's most recent success came just ahead of the World Cup, with the pressure it put on Virgin Media to show RLWC2013 provider Premier Sports on its platform credited with helping a deal being secured just a day before the tournament kicked-off.
On announcing Smith's visit the Group's chairman, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland, said, "We're delighted that Dave can join us and are very much looking forward to his visit and hearing his thoughts on the game from the from an Australian viewpoint, as well as – particularly as a Welshman – how he feels RLWC2013 and the international game fares in the global sports market."
On accepting the invitation, Smith said, "It is a wonderful privilege to visit the Houses of Parliament and meet the members of the UK Parliamentary Rugby League Group.
"We have recently launched our 'Friends' Groups in Australian parliaments and I'm interested in exchanging ideas on how the UK group engages its membership and leverages opportunity with government.
"The 2013 World Cup has demonstrated that international rugby league is strong and it's organisations such as this that positively promote our game in both the UK and Australia."