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Mick Carroll

USA World Cup Squad / Coaching (merged threads)

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Nail on the head there

 

Who does run the AMNRL and why is it still choosing the national squad if its the minority and least well run organisation?

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Nail on the head there

 

Who does run the AMNRL and why is it still choosing the national squad if its the minority and least well run organisation?

AMNRL was originally set up by David Niu and was the sole governing body for the sport in the US and so were also in charge of the national team. A number of teams were unhappy with the way the game was being run and broke away to form the USARL. Due to threats from Niu that leaving the AMNRL and joining the USARL would mean you would be ineligible for selection for the Tomahawks. This has led to having players that live in USARL areas being registered for AMNRL teams that have never played a game and only exist on paper!

 

With regards to who runs it now, Niu sold the AMNRL (I didn't realise you could sell a governing body) to a company called Grand Prix Entertainment, who also run rugby union in the US.

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Reading between the lines, I would suggest that Smith left because he did not have control over the squad selection and would have had to work with a bunch of players he neither knows nor has confidence in.

Seriously what is the point of the USA coming to play in the World Cup? The selection does nothing to encourage the ambitions of existing players, develop new teams or increase media exposure and the "Yanks" are unlikely to bring any fans. It also demeans the competition that one side is not taking the World Cup seriously and treating it as a jolly for fifth rate players who are not even familiar with the game.

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If the USA had qualified for the RWC with this selection, I wouldn't have felt quite as strongly. Okay, I'd still be disappointed at the decision, but this is just an egregious snub to the guys who fought their way to the big event.

 

I doubt Matterson will be given any say as regards selection changes.

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I agree about the amateurs vs pros, but the point is that a lot of the players selected play in local amateur leagues in Australia. I could understand if the selected players were all top pros like the Italy squad, but when you're ringing in nobodies from bush leagues that probably aren't much higher than the standard of the USA competitions then it's just an insult and a slap in the face to everyone who has worked hard for years to develop the sport in America, and all the players who have paid their own way to represent the national team in matches against Canada etc only to be replaced by a bunch of nobodies from Australia who will probably be flogged regardless, who have done nothing for the sport in the USA and who we're unlikely to ever hear from again.

 

That sums it up perfectly. I agee with you 100%. this will discourage the domestic US players who have been shafted whereas the reverse would have been true if they had been selected and played in the World Cup. As someone who is married to an American and has spent a lot of timne there, the patriotism of the average US citizen has to be seen to be believed and the US born players participation would have been the highlight of their lives and would have reaped immense benefit for RL in the US on their return.

 

What it will do for RL in the Queensland bush leagues is very much open to debate.

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I find this news, and the news about the Tomahawks squad generally, really disappointing.  I don't think anything bar family crisis could justify what Brian Smith has apparently done, frankly.  (And no family crisis has been reported)  I do hope an alternative coach is found but I wouldn't be surprised if the USA pulled out of the comp as I'm not sure how they could possibly perform without a coach.

 

As for the squad, Steve Mascord said on Twitter that one of the pacific island teams ahead of one international comp (can't remember which one, although he did mention it) threatened to sue the rugby league authorities for allowing amateur players to play against fulltime professionals.  That is a good point.  Players like the fabulously named Apple Pope are amateur players.   We wouldn't allow amateurs versus full timers in this country; we can't really justify it at international level.  The risk of serious injury would be too high.  However, it is still disappointing not to have some real live Americans in the team or at least coming over with them, perhaps to promote the side while they are over here.

 

Either way, rugby league seems to shoot itself in the foot no matter where it is played in the world!

Under normal circumstances, I would agree with what you write about Brian Smith.  However, there is a history of dishonesty in the AmNRL.  I find the excuse weak, but I think the reason for the excuse is likely to be for the AmNRL's sake rather than his. 

 

There are a large number of committed and dedicated people in the AmNRL.  However, it has been very badly run and indulged in ludicrous hubris on many occasions.  I am inclined to think that the selection body were completely unaware of any USARL candidates rather than snubbing them, but it is no better for that.

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I am inclined to think that the selection body were completely unaware of any USARL candidates rather than snubbing them, but it is no better for that.

I'm sure they were aware of Apple Pope (Jacksonville) as he was their captain!

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Apple Pope is mentioned as one to watch in the official preview guide...

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Nail on the head there

 

Who does run the AMNRL and why is it still choosing the national squad if its the minority and least well run organisation?

I believe this squad was selected by a guy called Steve Johnson, who lives in Australia and was appointed by Niu before he left.

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What can be done?

Could the RLEF (who, let's face it, do more than the RLIF to develop the game internationally) recognise the USARL as a member? They do Jamaica, don't they?

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Due to the size of the file I am not able to attach it - and I have not had a chance to upload it - but it is posted as a public file on my Facebook account - you do not have to friend request to see it - just log into FB to view - https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?v=10151974655508982&set=vb.556403981&type=2&theater

 

After taking 2 days to think about and consider the players named to the USA National Rugby League team for the world cup, I have recorded a video statement.

 

I took the last 2 days to talk to players from both the AMNRL and the USARL. Players who were both close to making the USA team and some who are just active in trying to develop the sport in the USA.

 

I also talked to a few friends and professional contacts from other international Rugby League teams and organizations, to make sure that I was able to construct a well written response, rather than a reaction.

 

After all of this, it is my belief that the SINGLE LARGEST OPPORTUNITY to grow Rugby League in the USA has been missed by simply not naming 6 known domestic players to the team, and instead filling the team with "HERITAGE PLAYERS".

 

Rugby League in the USA, although growing, is still a very minor sport. The USA Rugby League Community (Players, Sponsors and Fans) are not familiar for the most part with much of the game on an international stage. This is due partly to the large scale that American Sports are promoted. The ONLY Rugby League they are familiar with is that which is grown locally, and thus the domestic players and better known that any others, including the Superstars of the sport from Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Etc.

 

Due to this, the lack of known AMNRL and USARL players will mean that 99% of the USA Rugby League Community will NOT identify with the National Team at all, and thus have little, if any interest in its performance in the Rugby League World Cup. It will not matter who well the team does, it will have little or no effect on the development on a domestic level.

 

YES, this is my personal opinion, but after being one of the many trying to develop Rugby League in the USA for the past 15 years, being a team owner for the last 8, and dedicating the largest part of those eight years exclusively to the sport, I am confident that this opinion is shared with a majority of the USA Rugby League Community.

 

Daryl "Spinner" Howland
Co-owner and Founder
THE JACKSONVILLE AXEMEN

http://www.jaxaxe.com/

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I cannot describe how frustrating this situation is. Sometimes the game genuinely shoots itself in the foot.

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From Canberra's local paper... A local made the US team... He was born in the US while his parents were working there.

http://m.canberratimes.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/brothers-short-on-words-but-proud-to-represent-america-20131005-2v1du.html

"Stephen Howard is optimistic the squad can perform strongly against the Cook Islands, Wales and Scotland. As for singing the American anthem, that's a more difficult proposition.

''I know the first line,'' Stephen laughed. ''I'm just going to pull the tough face and maybe squeeze a tear out.''"

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The selection of non resident players for the USA is an absolute disgrace.

In the UK Championship teams are able to borrow dual registered players from Super league. The North Wales Crusaders coach Clive Griffiths will have none of it. His view is why should our players who have trained all week be told on the day before the match that there is no place for them and a borrowed player from another team will play in their place. Well done Clive and congratulations on achieving promotion.

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THE USA Tomahawks are proud to announce the most capped player in their history, home grown rugby league pioneer Curtis Cunz, as their team ambassador.

Tomahawks’ team manager Steven Johnson said Cunz was one of the faces of the game in America and richly deserved his appointment after initially missing the tour as a played due to a bicep injury. Cunz will be the public face of the Tomahawks during the tour, attending all official functions.

Cunz, a Connecticut Wildcats star, made his international rugby league debut for the USA in Widnes in 2007 when the Tomahawks faced off against Samoa in the final round of qualifying for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. Six years later he will be a key influence on the team in their inaugural World Cup appearance.

“The submission for Curtis to the RLWC reveals just how important he is to the Tomahawks,” Johnson said.

“He is one of the two best known home grown American players and has featured heavily in USA league stories over the past few years as the face of American rugby league.

“He cruelly suffered a bad bicep injury at the last minute and the coaches, as much as they wanted to, couldn’t consider him for selection.

“As soon as we became aware of that we worked on developing this role as it simply wouldn’t have been the same RLWC with Curtis being on tour.”

Cunz has also been nominated to the RLWC judiciary panel. Cunz said he would use the experience to further develop the 13-man code once he returned to America.

“I would like to thank the coaching staff who selected me and gave me this rare opportunity to serve as ambassador for the United States,” Cunz said.

“I know I’m not only representing the World Cup team but especially my brothers in arms who fought and sacrificed almost everything they had just to get to this point.

“I plan to use this experience to gain the most knowledge I can as I look to improve the game in all facets in America’s domestic competition.

“In doing this I will hopefully open up some more doors and avenues in life for the younger generation of athlete while putting the greatest game of all on a pedestal.

“Since we started playing the game we have dreamed about getting to this level and now it is here, it is time to relish it.

“Whether you are in the team or not, it is time to cheer for the red white and blue.”

http://www.rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com/index.php/2013/10/usa-selects-pioneering-home-grown-hero-for-ambassador-role/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+RugbyLeagueInternationalScores+%28Rugby+League+International+Scores%29

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A proper American, John Welch I think his name is, has been chosen for the squad as well as Cuntz being ambassador.  I would imagine the RL community in the US is too small for the outrage of fans to have gone unnoticed. 

 

Damn shame Apple Pope isn't playing.  I would love to have cheered for him with a great name like that!

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Taylor Welch is the player who has been added to the squad, he actually played Super League for Warrington at one point but yeah, a born and bred American from the domestic competition. I guess it's good that the management have somewhat reacted to the complaints, but they really shouldn't have been in this situation in the first place.

 

What part of America is he from? I'm not familiar with the accent.. :D

 

Nevertheless, I signed it.

That video is of Spinner Howland, owner of the Jacksonville Axemen. He isn't the guy who started the petition.

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That video is of Spinner Howland, owner of the Jacksonville Axemen. He isn't the guy who started the petition.

Well, USA certainly seem to have the best names in RL. Spinner Howland, Apple Pope, Curtis Cunz..

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This worldcup is a big joke !

Italia, USA, Tonga, Samoa are australian team !

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