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Performance department established by Lebanese Rugby League

The evolution of Lebanese rugby league has moved into a new phase, with the LRLF announcing a reorganization of its representative structure.
Performance department established by Lebanese Rugby League
by NRL

The evolution of Lebanese rugby league has moved into a new phase, with the LRLF announcing a reorganization of its representative structure. After a summer of consultations, the LRLF has revamped its elite programmes and revealed some major changes.

Chief among them is the creation of a Performance Department which will be functioning by the end of the year, ready to oversee the 2011 representative season, which begins in February. The new department will sit alongside the Development Department, which was formed in 2006, allowing the latter to focus on its remit of increasing participation numbers and the education of the sport at grass roots level; among players, coaches and match officials.

Mohamed Habbous, LRLF president explained the rationale: "Due to the continuing growth of the game in Lebanon and the growing maturity of the LRLF as a governing body we should not only be concentrating on the 2013 RLWC but also the 2017 RLWC and beyond," he said. "We need to develop a separate strategy for our elite players to ensure a seamless transition and path as they progress through the different representative age groups to the full Cedars Side."

LRLF consultant Hania Chamas, who obtained a master's degree in sports science from Brunel University, West London, and who will play a leading role in the new structure, visited Rugby Football League Head of Player Development Barrie-Jon Mather at their Leeds headquarters to discuss the technical details involved in elite player programmes.

"Elite player development and the representative rugby that goes along with it at both junior and senior levels is the finishing touch which shows that participation and community development policies put in place years earlier are finally coming to fruition," said Mather. "It is particularly pleasing that the LRLF is now in a position to establish elite player development systems which will hopefully develop successful athletes for many years to come."

The LRLF Performance Department will oversee Lebanon's five representative teams: Lebanon, Lebanon Under-16s, Liban Espoir, President's XIII and a new team, the "Federation XIII". The latter three sides will play in a tri-series for Cedars selection.

Under the new structure, Liban Espoir will become a Lebanon Under-20s side, allowing the best young open age players in the Bank of Beirut Championship to play alongside Junior Cedars graduates and also giving burgeoning MENA nations a suitable opponent. The best open age players, meanwhile, will be split between the President's XIII and the Federation XIII, hopefully producing a more competitive rep series.




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