Archive | June 2019

South Africa confirm participation in 2020 MEA Rugby League Championships

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Contact: Remond Safi, MEA Regional Director
Po Box. 1069 Jounieh, Lebanon, Mob: +447564214365, Office: +961 9 856345
E-mail: remond.safi

Date: 27 June 2019

SOUTH AFRICA CONFIM MEA CHAMPIONSHIPS PRESENCE

After defeat to the Cook Islands in their 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifier at the weekend, South Africa has confirmed that their next step in rebuilding their international presence is to compete in the 2020 MEA Championships.

South African Rugby League Sporting Association president Dr. Frans Erasmus (pictured) commented: “SARLSA is excited and keen to be part of the MEA Championships next year, which will be a highlight on the calendar. The organisation is on the eve of new beginnings and the tournament comes at the right time for us. We have signed a memorandum of understanding with SARU (South African Rugby Union) as an affiliate member. That enables us to have access to SACOC (the Olympic Committee), schools and will enable us to apply for government funding and recognition.”

Erasmus also confirmed: “We have initiated negotiations with the SA Rugby Wheelchair Association to establish a rugby league wheelchair team, which we are hopeful will become a reality in the near future. We are busy developing the sport at school level and projects undertaken so far have been successful and well attended. We are looking forward to having a junior competition in place next year.

“Our senior championship starts on 31 August 2019 and goes through to the Grand Final on 21 April 2020. SARLSA is convinced that we can make a major contribution to the development of rugby league in Africa and that we will be able to showcase the game to a very wide spectator base. Recognition means that we can now make use of our sports media and reach school kids, university students and all other rugby spectators. This will definitely spread the word that rugby league is alive and well in RSA.”

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

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Italy’s women win first rugby league Test on home soil as Serbia make bow

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 25 June, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

ITALY’S WOMEN WIN FIRST RUGBY LEAGUE TEST ON HOME SOIL AS SERBIA MAKE BOW

A brace of tries from loose forward Erica Neri and ten points via playmaker Rosaluna Gavagna, from a touchdown and three converstions, saw Italy’s women register their first home win, 26-0, against debutants Serbia, at Bella Italia EFA Village, Lignano Sabbiadoro.

“I was very happy with our performance,“ said FIRL vice president, Tiziano Franchini. “In our last training sessions we worked especially on defence and it showed. Overall we saw improvment in the team, the women are getting more experience and are learning fast about the game.“

The Serbian women, with only a couple of months of club competiton under their belts, delighted their head coach, Željko Delić, “I’m extremely proud of the effort and determination shown by the players,“ he said. “We had no pressure of expectation regarding the score and the women really proved their strong character. This was the first-ever full 13-a-side test for them and the only way is up from here. Most of the team are aged 18 or under, so that tells us a lot regarding how much room there is for progress.“

The match was part of a double header with the men’s Balkan Championship, Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade defeating Lignano Sharks 30-22.

ITALY WOMEN 26

Rebecca Pantaleoni, Matilde Gerardo, Rwan Hassein, Giulia Colangeli, Giada Arzenton, Rosaluna Gavagna , Cecilia Piva, Francesca Isaia, Alessandra Menotti, Rosa Bettolatti, Altea Forto, Giulia Stucchi, Erica Neri

Subs: Lisa Sovrano, Siria Raisa, Marika Ascione, Alice Mondino

Tries: Erica Neri (2), Rosaluna Gavagna, Giulia Stucchi and Cecilia Piva.

Goals: Rosaluna Gavagna 3/5

SERBIA WOMEN 0

Marija Milosavljević, Marija Bajić, Tamara Bošnjak, Ana Marija Škiljo, Ljiljana Bajić, Isidora Savković, Jelena Stoiljković, Željana Mitrović, Кarolina Blizanac, Marija Maslaković, Nika Bajić, Jovana Fridl, Vanja Pešić

Subs: Sara Trifković, Ivana Artinović, Milica Кrasić, Dragana Žeželj.

Half time: 12-0

Referee: Paolo Bucci (Italy)

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Jamaica defeat USA 26-24 in Kingston rugby league Test

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From: JAMAICA RUGBY LEAGUE ASSOCIATION

Contact: Romeo Monteith, Tel: 1-876-460-9901, Email: romeocbar@yahoo.com

Date: 24 June, 2019

JAMAICA DEFEAT USA IN KINGSTON

Two tries from Duhaney Park Red Sharks back rower Ryan Grant set Jamaica on the road to a 26-24 victory over the USA, in the nation’s first meeting on Caribbean soil, at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies, Kingston.

The Reggae Warriors held on after a late comeback from the Hawks, who led 18-14 at the interval. “The contest was excellent throughout,” said JRLA head coach and director of rugby, Romeo Monteith. “The intensity of the fight in the heat and never-say-die attitude of both teams thoroughly entertained the crowd. It was a pleasure having the USA team here for the first time and we look forward to welcoming them again in future. However, we will need to be better for when we play in the 2021 World Cup.”

The win was Jamaica’s second in succession over the Hawks in eight meetings, the Test match played as part of rugby league’s international weekend.

The hosts started nervously, debutant USA scrum-half Charlie Jones capitalising with a cross-field kick to uncover winger Tristan Sylk; Jones converting. Jamaica responded when speedster Adrian Thomas gathered a bouncing long pass from Fabion Turner and raced in on the left edge, and they went into the lead on the re-start, hooker Akeem Murray breaking the defensive line and off-loading to the supporting Grant; Chevaughn Bailey with the goal.

The Hawks then took back the ascendancy, Jamil Robinson finding space on the right to cross and, three minutes later, Jacksonville debutant Kevin Wathen, who made a big impact off the bench, crossing between the posts; Alex Foster goaling both.

Jamaica struck back just before the half ended, powerful centre Kevin Thomas releasing full-back Kenneth Walker, and they took control of the second half with an early try from substitute Jenson Morris from the back of a scrum. Grant followed with his double following a strong run and fend, prop Mohnejo Thompson kicking both conversions to put the Warriors in charge at 26-18.

Both teams continued to trade attacking raids without finding the final pass, but the visitors were rewarded when Jones sliced through the middle for a fine solo try with six minutes left, Foster adding the extras.

Hawks team manager Billy Neilson noted: “It was a tough loss but a great game. The boys on both sides played their hearts out and the crowd was awesome. Congratulations to Jamaica and we look forward to facing them again soon.”

USA will now meet the Cook Islands at the Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville on 16 November for the final place in RLWC 2021 after the Kukis defeated South Africa 66-6 in their latest qualifier at the weekend.

JAMAICA 26 (14)

1. Kenneth Walker 2. Adrian Thomas 3. Steve Miller 4. Kevin Thomas 5. Andrew Simpson 6. Fabion Turner 7. Michael Pearson 8. Mohnejo Thompson 9. Akeem Murray 10. Khamisi McKain 11. Ryan Grant 12. Chawn Henry 13. Chevaughn Bailey

Subs 14. Kile Nembhard 15. Roland Grey 16. Jenson Morris 17. Antonio Baker

Tries: Ryan Grant 2, Kenneth Walker, Adrian Thomas, Jenson Morris

Goals: Mohenjo Thompson 2, Chevaughn Bailey

USA 24 (18)

1.Alex Foster 2. Randy Porter 3. Cody Blackwell 4. Josh Jackson 5.Tristan Sylk 6. Sterling Wynn 7.Charlie Jones 8. Jon Purnell 9. Bart Longchamp 10. Kyle Denham 11. Khalil Harris 12. Jamil Robinson 13. Nick Newlin

Subs 14. Sean Hunt 16. Dane Wilcoxen 17. Kevin Wathen

Tries: Jamil Robinson, Charlie Jones, Kevin Wathen, Tristan Sylk

Goals: Alex Foster 3, Charlie Jones

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

Photos (credit Lisa Ashman) – Jamaica’s Kevin Thomas, Michael Pearson and Chevaughn Bailey celebrate a try and Jenson Morris takes on Sterling Wynn and Sean Hunt.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

International Rugby League is on the march

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The Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) has welcomed the success of the mid-year international window. There have been fantastic games played right across the world at three of the four current World Cup disciplines, men’s, women’s and wheelchair.

“We have witnessed another wonderful weekend of international rugby league, men’s, women’s and wheelchair” said Nigel Wood the Chief Executive Officer of the RLIF

“The weekend demonstrated, once again that international rugby league is valued by players and spectators alike. There is no higher honour than being asked to represent your country and the pride and passion on display simple re-iterates that international rugby league is on the march.”

The RLIF Oceania Cup got off to a tremendous start with over 23,000 Tonga and Kiwi fans generating an incredible atmosphere inside Auckland’s Mount Smart Stadium. The Kiwis head the competition after they defeated Tonga in game one. In the Trophy section of the Oceania Cup, Samoa defeated the PNG Kumuls to head their group as they chase promotion to the top group for 2020.

On Friday evening, Cook Islands defeated South Africa Rhinos in a qualifier for RLWC2021 and now move on to the final qualification game on November 16th when they will face the USA Hawks in Jacksonville, Florida.

The USA Hawks travelled to Kingston, Jamaica to face the Reggae Boys, who have already qualified for the World Cup in a friendly fixture. Jamaica just won by 26 – 24 in match that is great preparation for the domestic players of both nations.

Fiji Bati overcame a strong challenge from the Lebanon Cedars team which provided the perfect warm up for their Oceania Cup games at the end of the year.

The women’s game also took a great step forward as a record number of full international matches were played this weekend.

The New Zealand Ferns once again showed just how powerful they are as they defeated Samoa, who made a welcome return to the international scene. Fiji began their preparation by over-turning a really powerful and committed PNG Orchids team and in Lignano, Italy the home team started their campaign by defeating Serbia who were having their first ever outing.

The planning for RLWC2021 Wheelchair competition also started to hot up when world number two team, England travelled to world number one team, France for a two-game series. England took the first game 31 – 25 which is a real boost to their preparation.

RLIF Chief Executive Officer Nigel Wood, summed up the international weekend saying

“The RLIF Oceania Cup got off to a tremendous start, with the New Zealand beating Tonga in front of a near sell-out crowd at Mount Smart. Once again, the Tongan supporters created a magnificent and colourful spectacle that will have resonated around the world.

“Women’s international rugby league took a major leap forward with impressive wins for NZ over Samoa, and Fiji over PNG which bodes well for the introduction of an Oceania Women’s Cup next season.

“Wheelchair Rugby League, which is a great spectacle, is developing into a fascinating and compelling competition around the world.

“Finally, I would like to add my congratulations to a very powerful Cook Islands team that progressed in the RLWC2021 qualification process at the expense of South Africa, who played with great pride and resolve.”

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Serbia become latest nation to field women’s rugby league side, with Test against Italy on Saturday

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 21 June, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

SERBIA WOMEN FACE ITALY THIS WEEKEND

Serbia will become the latest rugby league nation to field a women’s team when they face Italy in Lignano tomorrow (Saturday) as part of the sport’s international weekend.

The formal women’s club competition in the country only began this year, with sides playing regularly in Belgrade – at Red Star Belgrade and Partizan – and in Leskovac. But the opportunity for their players to test themselves against a nation whose women have recently faced France, Lebanon and Turkey offers the Serbians a welcome chance to play at a higher level.

“It’s an historic game for us and our team is very excited”, said Serbian women’s team manager Zeljko Delic. “We have invested a lot of energy and time to start women’s rugby league and we believe that international activity can achieve further awareness. Our team is really talented and we are going for the win against Italy.”

The Serbians have named 29 players in their provisional squad, led by Morava Cheetahs Vanja Pesic, who has experience of the sport from her studies in the USA.

The match will take place after the men’s Balkan Super League game between competition debutants Lignano Sharks and Serbian champions Red Star, in the third round of regional competition.

“FIRL is very excited for this game and event,” said Italian rugby league’s vice president TizianoFranchini. “It will be good to have a home match for the women and more games in Lignano Sabbiadoro, which hosted a World Cup qualifier and will be the venue for the European U19s.”

Serbian women’s squad:

Zeljana Mitrovic, Nadja Nikolic, Sara Trifkovic, Ivana Artinovic, Milica Mijic, Nika Bajic, Karolina Blizanac, Jelena Lazic, Marija Zlatkovic, Milica Krasic, Tamara Bosnjak, Dragana Zezelj, Natasa Kovacevic, Mihaela Cesnak, Ivana Djordjevic, Marija Maslakovic, Isidora Savkovic (Red Star), Andjela Nikolic, Ana Koronsavac, Ana Novakovic, Marija Milosavljevic, Marija Bajic, Ana Marija Skiljo, Jovana Fridl, Tatjana Prendic, Anica Radak, Zoja Nikolic, Milica Rakocevic (Red Kangaroos), Vanja Pesic (Morava Cheetahs)

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Middle East and Africa region continues to be a fertile region for rugby league

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Contact: Remond Safi

PO Box. 1069 Jounieh, Lebanon – Mob: +447564214365, Office: +961 9 856345, E-mail: remond.safi

Website: www.rlef.eu.com

Date: 20 June, 2019

FURTHER PROGRESS IN MEA REGION

Rugby league’s impact in the Middle East Africa region continues to grow ahead of the 2019 MEA Championships, to be held in Lagos, Nigeria in October and also featuring Morocco, Cameroon and Ghana.

Ade Adebisi, general manager and vice president of the Nigerian Rugby League Association, said: “The Middle East Africa Championships opens up the opportunity to build business relationships with Africa’s largest economy, a country of 200 million people, with the second largest oil and gas reserves in Africa and the largest mobile phone market, with more than 125 million subscribers. Eleven million Nigerians are on Facebook and it has an expanding young, middle class population.

“The championships will be supported by receptions at the British High Commission in Nigeria and gala events that will be both entertaining and beneficial for networking. They will be attended by representatives from the Commonwealth, DTI, The Nigerian government and leading influencers in the country’s key business sectors.”

Part of that will be achieved by the presence of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup’s international development project in the Nigerian capital to support the tournament, whilst the NRLA is confident of concluding a broadcast deal for the event.

Coaching and match official education for at least six nations will be delivered concurrently, necessary to support the expanding domestic programmes, with the four MEA Championship nations also planning to apply for affiliate membership of the RLEF in the near future.

In the Ghanaian domestic competition, table-topping Bulls won 40-16 against Panthers in their latest fixture to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. Cameroon’s second season will commence next month with four men’s teams, three women’s and a three-team junior league scheduled, whilst the inaugural Nigerian and Congolese championships are due to begin soon.

MEA regional director Remond Safi noted: “I’m excited to see the increase in activity in the region and the enthusiasm between the members. The MEA Championships and simultaneous courses will not only provide the nations the platform to elevate their membership status, but will also give sponsors great opportunities and benefits.”

Geographical expansion continues, with three African and two Middle East nations preparing observer membership applications, whilst an announcement will be made shortly on the latest rugby league nation in Africa to have obtained government recognition.

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

The RLEF is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law).

It is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure that opening this message and/or any of its attachments will not adversely affect its systems. No responsibility is accepted by the RLEF. If you are not the named recipient, please contact the sender and delete the e-mail from your system.

RFL is a trading name of The Rugby Football League Limited. This message and any attachments are strictly confidential and may contain legally privileged information.The contents of the transmission are intended for the named addressee(s) only. If you are not the addressee please do not read, print, store or re-transmit it or any attachments to it.Instead, please email it back to the sender and then immediately permanently delete it from your system. The views or opinions presented here are solely of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the Rugby Football League Limited.The Rugby Football League Limited is not bound by any contract or obligation created by this e-mail and excludes all liability to you or any third party in respect of its contents (to the maximum extent permitted by the law). The Rugby Football League Limited is a company registered in England with company number 3845473. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 168 8110 49.The Rugby Football League Limited also acts on behalf of Super League (Europe) Ltd, a company registered in England with company number 3238540. The Registered Office is Red Hall, Red Hall Lane, Leeds LS17 8NB. VAT No. 698 6526 64. UIT42524252

Squads announced for historic Jamaica v USA rugby league Test match

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE DISTRIBUTION

FROM: RLEF MEDIA DEPARTMENT

DATE: 19 June, 2019

CONTACT: phil.caplan / +44 7850719412

SQUADS ANNOUNCED FOR JAMAICA V USA TEST

Jamaica has named nine debutants and USA seven in their squads for Saturday’s historic meeting at the Mona Bowl, University of West Indies, Kingston (kick off 3.30pm local time) – which is part of the sport’s international weekend. The match-up between the 14th and 15th world ranked nations will be the first between them on Caribbean soil.

In their previous full meeting, in Jacksonville, Florida, last year, the Reggae Warriors’ triumph saw them qualify for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup, joining the final stages of the global tournament for the first time. The Hawks are using the match as preparation for their final WC qualifier in November, when they will face the winners of South Africa and Cook Islands, who meet in Wentworthville, Sydney on Friday night.

Caribbean Maritime University duo Kevin Thomas and Chawn Henry are among the Jamaican newcomers, the first representatives from the club, with Adrian Thomas, Mohenjo Thompson, Akeem Murray, Kile Nembhard, Roland Grey, Jenson Morris and Romario Bartley also in line for their bows.

Veterans Renaldo Wade and Tyronie Rowe are out of contention and playmaker Adrian Hall is also unavailable after being involved in a serious car accident on his way to training in April.

“Having defeated the Hawks in the World Cup qualifiers, we are acutely aware that revenge is on the minds of our visitors,” said JRLA head coach and director of rugby Romeo Monteith. “They have assembled a powerful team and we will start as underdogs in this one as we are without the services of any of our professional players. The boys are looking forward to the challenge and will give a good account. It’s been the most difficult preparation for a game we’ve ever had after the sudden passing of national player, Leon Thomas, two weeks ago.”

USA head coach Sean Rutgerson has included former Thailand captain Charlie Jones in his selection, together with some of the standout performers who won the inaugural Americas 9s in Toronto recently, where they beat Jamaica 18-4 in the group stages.

Jacksonville’s Khalial Harris who was a standout after only a handful of games is included for the first time with Brooklyn Kings providing the most representatives with six players including debutants Alex Foster and Dane Wilcoxen. Josh Jackson, Kevin Wathen and Randy Porter are the other newcomers.

“It is getting tough to choose as I am getting better coverage of all players now,” Rutgerson noted. “This is our chance to see guys that have been performing well in the domestic competition step up to the next level so that when we play in November we know who is up to the standard and we’re not guessing.”

JAMAICA 20 MAN SQUAD:

Chawn Henry, Kevin Thomas (Caribbean Maritime University), Antonio Baker (Cedar Grove Cyclones), Andrew Simpson, Fabion Turner, Jermaine Pinnock, Kenneth Walker, Khamisi Mckain, Marvin Thompson, Ryan Grant (Duhaney Park Red Sharks), Adrian Brown, Chevaughn Bailey, Steve Miller (GC Foster College Lions) Roland Grey (Jamaica Defene Force) Akeem Murray, Romario Bartley (Liguanea Dragons and University of the West Indies) Jenson Morris, Kile Nembhard (University Of Technology), Lawrence Drummond, Mohenjo Thompson (Washington Blvd. Bulls)

USA 17-MAN SQUAD

Sean Hunt, Nick Newlin (Atlanta Rhinos), Brandon Anderson, Alex Foster, Randy Porter, Jamil Robinson, Dane Wilcoxen, Sterling Wynn (Brooklyn Kings), Khalil Harris, Josh Jackson, Charlie Jones, Jon Purnell, Kevin Wathen (Jacksonville Axemen), Kyle Denham, Tristan Sylk (Philadelphia Fight), Cody Blackwell, Bart Longchamp (Tampa Mayhem)

PHIL CAPLAN

RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Tel: 07850 719412

E-mail: phil.caplan

Web: http://www.rlef.eu.com

RLEF

The Rugby League European Federation

55 King Street,

Manchester M2 4LQ

This e-mail (including any attachments) is intended only for the recipient(s) named above. It may contain confidential or privileged information and should not be read, copied or otherwise used without prior written consent. Statements or opinions may be expressed in this e-mail that are personal to the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the RLEF.

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