Rugby league in Germany

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Rugby league in Germany
Sport Rugby league
Founded 2004
CEO Simon Cooper (President)
No. of teams 6
Most recent
Official website Rugby League Deutschland

Rugby league is a minor sport in Germany. The national governing body for the sport, Rugby League Deutschland, is an associate member of the Rugby League European Federation. The country's national team are regular competitors in the European Shield, winning the competition in 2006 and 2011.


Rugby league was introduced into Germany in August 2004 with the formation of Rugby League Deutschland by Simon Cooper who was born in Halifax, England whose father is German. Prior to that it had been played informally by expat players associations such as British servicemen and students.

The first ever game didn't take place until nearly 12 months later when on 23 July the Heidelberg Sharks beat München RLFC 72-64 in a 9-a-side game played in Heidelberg. Since then clubs Bad Reichenhall [1] and Innsbruck have also played matches.

In 2005 there was the first match between a Germany XIII and a touring Scottish Students side. This was a catalyst for Germany entering in 2006 in their first full international tournament the Central Europe Development Tri-Nations and then subsequently in the European Shield in 2007 and 2008. In 2011, Rugby League Deutschland was admitted to affiliate membership of the Rugby League European Federation after reforms to its governance.[1]


The popularity of rugby league in Germany is small, and rugby of any form is still very much unknown by Germans. 80 adult players and around 200 children were introduced to the game in 2008.

Bundesland of Origin[edit]

In 2007 a State (Bundesland) of Origin style concept has also been introduced with two regional teams representing Bavaria and Central Germany. The weekend of this game is also used to bring everyone together for a training session and for the Coach and selectors to see all players in one place and also to have a meeting. The first such game was played in 2007 in Nürnberg.

  • 15 December - Bavaria 44-32 Central Germany - Nürnberg, Germany

National team[edit]

The current captain of the national side is Leo Berngruber and the coach is Dan Stocks.

As well as playing friendlies and one-off games, the German national team has participated in two tournaments. In the 2006 Germany participated in the Central Europe Development Tri-Nations along with Austria and Estonia. Germany won both of their matches narrowly beating Austria in Bad Reichenhall in front of over 350 people. They then travelled to Tallinn and beat Estonia to seal victory and outright first place of the competition.

In 2007 they took part in the RLEF European Shield along with the Czech Republic and Serbia. In this tournament they took out second place. They were beaten in Heidelberg by a strong Serbia side but recovered and beat a tough Czech Republic team in Prague by 22 points.

In 2008 Germany will once again be participating in the RLEF European Shield with the Czech Republic and newcomers Italy. Serbia were promoted to a group with Russia and Lebanon on their strong performance in 2007. The games will be held in Padova, Italy, Prague, Czech Republic and Frankfurt, Germany. There are also games proposed against Serbia and an RLEF XIII, but are yet to be confirmed.

The first weekend of August each year is being set aside for a game against the Czech Republic, no matter if facing each other in a tournament or not. Also plans are to have friendlies against Austria, though in 2007 this game fell through.

Results of the German National Team[edit]

Some results for Germany in Rugby League (XIII).


  • 31 July - Germany XIII 13-28 Scottish Students - München, Germany
  • 7 August - Netherlands 34-28 Germany - Rotterdam, Netherlands


Central Development Tri-Nations

Team P W D L Pt
1 Germany 2 2 0 0 4
2 Austria 2 1 0 1 2
3 Estonia 2 0 0 2 0
  • 25 June - Germany 34-32 Austria - Bad Reichenhall, Germany
  • 22 July - Estonia 24-38 Germany - Tallinn, Estonia


  • 16 June - Germany XIII 28-54 British Army - Osnabruk, Germany

RLEF European Shield Tri-Nations

Team P W D L Pt
1 Serbia 2 2 0 0 4
2 Germany 2 1 0 1 2
3 Czech Republic 2 0 0 2 0
  • 7 July - Germany 6-38 Serbia - Heidelberg Germany
  • 4 August - Czech Republic 22-44 Germany - Prague, Czech Republic


RLEF European Shield Tri-Nations

Team P W D L Pt
1 Italy 2 2 0 0 4
2 Germany 2 1 0 1 2
3 Czech Republic 2 0 0 2 0
  • 13 June - Italy 58-26 Germany - Padova Italy
  • 2 August - Germany 62-20 Czech Republic - Karlsruhe, Germany

Other games

  • 9 August - Germany 22-32 RLEF XIII - Bad Reichenhall, Germany

German State of Origin

  • 13/14 December - Central Germany vs. Bavaria - Nürnberg, Germany

Players that have represented Germany[edit]

At the moment the criteria for representing Germany is to have played in one of the domestic teams or the German Exiles. The current list is of staff and players that have played for Germany in the full internationals.

HEAD TRAINERS Uwe Jansen & Dan Stocks
ASSISTANT TRAINERS Bob Doughton & Paul Szehofner
PHYSIO Mick Dwyer
Name Position Club
BASTIAN, Dominik Fullback Heidelberg
BERNGRUBER, Leonhard (c) Bad Reichenhall
COOPER, SIMON Bad Reichenhall
FRERA, Joachim Hooker/Back row Frankfurt
FROESCHNER, Max German Exiles
GLASER, Michael Centre/Wing Heidelberg
HOTTENROTT, Moritz Prop Heidelberg
KEINHORST, Jimmy Hooker German Exiles
KEINHORST, Kristian Stand-off German Exiles
KEINHORST, Markus Centre German Exiles
KEINHORST, Nick Wing German Exiles
KETTNER, Andreas Bad Reichenhall
KHAN, Anjum Heidelberg
KLOEPPER, Alex Wing Heidelberg
KRUSE, Janis Heidelberg
PETIT, Nick Heidelberg
RHEM Benedikt 2nd Row Heidelberg Lions
RUHSTORFER, Patrick Heidelberg Lions
SMUTNA, Peter Nürnberg
STOCKS, Daniel Loose Forward German Exiles
VOLKMANN, Higgi Frankfurt
ZABEL, Julian Wing Bad Reichenhall

German National Team honours[edit]

  • 2006 - Central development Tri-Nations Champions. Germany's first piece of silver ware.
  • 2007 - 4 August. The Keinhorst brothers, Kristian, Markus, Jimmy and Nick set a new world record by being selected in the same game against the Czech Republic in Prague.

Board of Rugby League Deutschland[edit]

  • President: Simon Cooper
  • Vice-President: Uwe Jansen
  • Director of Rugby: David Griffiths
  • Treasurer: Leo Berngruber
  • Secretary: Florian Rittner
  • Other Board Members: Will Stocks, Dan Stocks, Bob Doughton
  • Sponsors: Alpenstoff Beer, Hintsteiner Garage, Steeden


  1. ^ Caplan, Phil (27 October 2011). "RLEF formally admits four new members". Retrieved 28 October 2011. 

External links[edit]