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30th Sept 2014, Tuesday

International partnerships in the rugby league world are now a formality and there is another one that has the potential to shine, with the Kurri Bulldogs joining forces with United States Rugby League, the Northern Virginia Eagles.

The idea is the brainchild of one man – former Newcastle ex-pat Craig Webb, who is now the head coach of the Eagles club in America.

The process started by getting in touch with Jeff Polglase, the Bulldogs club secretary, in order to see if it was an idea and partnership the club would be interested in pursuing.

“Craig was looking to form ties with a club and with our parochial crowds and still small town identity thought that we would be a good fit,” Polglase said.

“After a couple of months of discussion, we could only see a win-win situation for both teams and entered into the partnership.”

Established as an American rugby league side in 2012, the club is growing and developing as the years go on, with a partnership of this nature the first of its kind for a Newcastle rugby league team and an American side.

With the purpose of the partnership to promote both clubs in the Hunter region and to grow the game in both areas, the plan long-term could be to potentially have an exhibition match each year between the two sides.

To add to that, they are hoping that from 2015, the clubs can begin a player exchange program to give opportunities to aspiring American rugby league players.