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Honour for Malta as leading lights from European Rugby arrive 6/22/2010

This weekend, for the first time, Malta will host the FIRA/Association of European Rugby (AER) Congress.

Representing the best of European rugby, delegates from 43 member countries will come together between 24th and 26th June on the occasion of the 68th Annual Congress of the European Rugby Association.

Mr Martin Galea, President of the Malta Rugby Football Union, (MRFU) said, “It is a huge honour for the MRFU and the island. We have only been affiliated to the European organisation since 2000 and in this time the progress of rugby in Malta has been immense. The decision to hold the Congress in Malta this year reflects the good standing and popularity of the MRFU amongst European countries,” he added.

“An event of this nature always takes careful planning and would not have been possible without the steadfast support of our sponsors, specifically Cisk Lager, GasanMamo Insurance and Mazda,” he continued. “The fact that the Congress is taking place in Malta is also a tribute to their continuous encouragement.”

“Cisk Lager has been involved with rugby since its very beginning in Malta.  We are extremely proud of the achievements of the National Team over the years and the success of their efforts, even when considered the weaker side.  In a clear long–term commitment to the sport, Cisk Lager has recently renewed its sponsorship contract for the next two seasons,” said Mrs Sue Weenink, Senior Manager, Marketing Operations at Simonds Farsons Cisk plc.

Mazda have been sponsoring the MRFU since 2008.  “Not only have we shown our commitment to the National Team, we have also provided transport to its coach, with a Mazda5, and this year we have started sponsoring Maltese rugby referees,” David Gasan, Managing Director of Gasan Enterprises Ltd., said.  “We are proud of the results achieved and augur that this Congress will achieve its goals.”

On a similar note, Julian J. Mamo, Director at GasanMamo Insurance – sponsors of the Youth Section – congratulated the MRFU for hosting the European Congress in Malta.  He added that strengthening the Youth Section was important so that the momentum gained by adults is maintained, thus further propelling the game in Malta.

During the congress, topics will include a new tournament for youths as well as discussion around a new qualifying competition for the 2015.  Importantly, timings for 2010/2011 fixtures will be agreed and announced.

Keynote speakers include Mr Louis Farrugia, Honorary Life President, MRFU and Minister of Sport, Mr Clyde Puli.  It is widely anticipated that Mr Puli will reiterate his commitment to the growth of rugby in Malta following his recent announcement that the White Rocks development will feature the National Rugby Stadium.

On his second visit in two months, FIRA/AER President, Jean-Claude Baque will no doubt resume his talks with Clyde Puli.  He has always maintained that rugby could only flourish in Malta if the MRFU is granted its own space.

The Congress will be staged at the Corinthia San George Hotel on 25th and 26th June.