Falcons coach takes helm of Scandinavian team
RUGBY LEAGUE: Sunshine Coast Falcons coach Craig Ingebrigtsen has agreed to take the helm of a Scandinavian representative side and he's keen to have a training camp in his hometown next year.
The team, which hopes to play in an emerging rugby league nations tournament, contains players of Norwegian, Swedish and Danish heritage.
For Ingebrigtsen, the prospect of guiding them is an appealing one.
"It's an opportunity to broaden my horizons and do something a little bit different,” he said.
"(I am) taking myself out of day-to-day (club) coaching and coaching a rep side and putting together a group that has the opportunity to play for their heritage, which is pretty important.”
"I want to help the game grow and help blokes be as competitive as they can.”
Ingebrigtsen has ties to Norway.
"So it (taking the coaching role) is something that's important to me,” he said.
"It's (via) my adopted father. It's a different way to have that heritage but it's still a heritage.
"I can't say I've spent any time in Norway and from a historical perspective I'm not that great on it but it's an honour to be asked to do something like this.”
Ingebrigtsen's primary focus will be on the Falcons during the state league season but he will then turn his attention to the Scandinavian outfit.
"We'll do something in October (2017), a camp I'm trying to get on the Sunshine Coast because of the proximity and the facilities we have here are second to none.
"Once we get them into camp I can see what we've got and then we (could) play in November.”
About 30 players have committed to the cause.
Among them are 10 players in state league circles, including Wynnum's Magnus Stromquist and Easts Tigers' Jack Svendsen.
The latter is in the midst of pre-season training with Melbourne Storm.
There are other players at regional clubs and Ingebrigtsen has requested footage of players in Scandinavia, where there are competitions.
There are national teams from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, with the former boasting the highest international ranking of 27.
But a joint venture outfit has expressed its interest in competing in an emerging rugby league nations tournament.
The Rugby League International Federation is yet to announce any such tournament will go ahead but a feasibility study is under-way and there is some potential it could happen in Australia around the same time as the World Cup.
Ingebrigtsen's priority is to help the Scandinavian side to a respectable ranking and lay a platform for eventual World Cup qualification.
"Hopefully we can get them into a position where they can challenge, a couple of years down the track.”