The Latin America Heat, featuring players from Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay and El Salvador, were just one of the teams competing for the first time in the NSW Rugby League and NRL Community annual Australian Technology Park Redfern Harmony Nines tournament at Sydney University in a celebration of the cultural diversity of rugby league.
The fourth annual round-robin competition featured more than 180 players from 12 under-18s development teams representing a wide range of nationalities with Malta RL, Mediterranean RL, Cook Islands, Federation Italian RL Australia and PCYC Africa United among those to join Latin America Heat. The Mediterranean team this year included players from Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Israel and Iraq.
A number of league legends and ambassadors, including former South Sydney winger Nathan Merritt and Penrith and Manly forward Joe Galuvao, were in attendance across the day, which also featured activities for the whole family including cultural performances from participating teams, music, food, sports clinics and a jumping castle.
David Trodden, Chief Executive of the NSWRL, said tournaments such as the Redfern Harmony Nines highlighted the positive influence rugby league has on the community.
“It’s a real pleasure for the New South Wales Rugby League, in conjunction with NRL Community, to be running an event like the Harmony Nines,” Trodden said.
“The tournament is a fantastic reflection of the significant impact the greatest game of all has on so many people – and not just those people from Australia.
“Participating sides, from a range of backgrounds including Fiji, Samoa, Latin America and Africa, show that rugby league has a huge following from communities based right around the world.
“The Harmony Nines is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate just that.”
Congratulations to South Sydney Indigenous (pictured) on winning their second consecutive Redfern Harmony Nines title.
For more on the Redfern Harmony Nines keep visiting www.NSWRL.com.au in coming days.
For full scores from the day's play, click on the link below.