Clash of The Rugby Titans

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The British Asian Rugby Association (BARA) played host to a ‘mini’ tour from the Lega Italia rugby league team with a fixture between the sides for the White Ribbon Trophy scheduled for the South Leeds Stadium. . . . Reports Asian Lite News

The Rugby Team
The Rugby Team

The match was a repeat of last year’s clash in Rome when a BARA team, coached by Garry Schofield and founder Ikram Butt, just lost out to a last minute conversion in a 22-20 defeat.

The party from Lega Italia, officially recognized by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) as the only governing body for rugby league in Italy, flew in to the UK. The Italians were presented to the media at Headingley at noon before visiting the Makkah mosque to meet members of the Leeds Interfaith Forum.

There was a mixed ability exhibition game as a curtain raiser to the game at the South Leeds Stadium with players from the pioneering Bingley-based Bumble Bees taking part along with players from other clubs across West Yorkshire.

The tour was sponsored by KASA with additional support from Regal, Inspirational Women’s Foundation, Durham Accountants, Malik Halls, Highgate Solicitors, Click Your GP, AG Graphic Solutions, Mini Travel, Sporting Change and PRomotion. The tour also supported and promoted the White Ribbon Campaign aimed at reducing domestic violence against women and children.

Pierluigi Gentile, founder of Lega Italia, commented: “We are looking forward to our UK visit and thank BARA for making it happen. We hope to participate in another close, exciting game of Rugby League.”

Former England, Leeds and Featherstone Rugby League professional Ikram Butt who founded BARA 12 years ago commented: “We were treated like kings last year in Rome and again earlier this year as guests of Lega Italia when we discussed the White Ribbon Campaign and interfaith initiatives with the Pope at the Vatican.”

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