Jamaica’s senior national rugby league team will create history by playing two Tests against Ireland in Bray, this Sunday, and against Wales at wakefield Trinity’s Belle Vue stadium on 21 October. The matches, which aid the host nations in their World Cup European qualifying preparations, will mark the first time the rugby Reggae Warriors have played accredited internationals in Europe.
The Jamaica 22-man squad, selected from players within the English semi-professional and student leagues, will be led by JRL assistant coach Jermaine Coleman, who is also Head Coach at London Skolars. He is assisted by Lee St. Hilaire, whilst current Dewsbury Rams head coach Glenn Morrison is the team manager.
“We have eligible players across the competitions in the United Kingdom,” explained JRLA director of rugby, Romeo Monteith speaking from Kingston Jamaica. “Players who have committed to representing Jamaica through the years. And with Glenn, Jermaine and Lee joining our national programme, we are better able to harness our UK-based resources and improve the performance and quality overall.
“This is, in effect, the start of our road to hopeful 2021 World Cup qualification. Our national team will continue to feature players from both our domestic leagues and UK competitions, with selection largely dependent on the location of each, along with available finance. Like players in many other nations, ours still contribute to their expenses in order to represent their country.
“There is a pressing need, though, to ensure regular representative games for players on both sides of the Atlantic, and by selecting and selecting this way we are finally starting to achieve that. Both Ireland and Wales will be extremely difficult for us. As well established rugby league nations with pedigree and decades in the game, they are among favourites to get to the World Cup,” he added. “We will need to be competitive, but with the quality we have in this squad we believe we will give them good games.”
Team Manager, Glenn Morrison Commented: “It has been exciting coming into the Jamaican set up. We’ve worked hard to get the boys together on several occasions in the last two months, to train and create a good bond within the group heading into the games, and they have looked good in training.”
“We believe we can use this experience to encourage further growth within the Jamaican international system,” he added. “We are looking forward to it, and I hope we will get a big following at both venues.”
Danny Bravo, Alex Brown, Joel Farrell, Wayne Rettie, (Batley Bulldogs), Ross Peltier (Bradford Bulls), Aaron Jones-Bishop, Reece Williams (Doncaster), Kadeem Williams (Gloucestershire All Golds) Daniel Thomas, Mo Agoro, Richard Barnett, (Hunslet Hawks), Jode Sheriffe (Keighley Cougars), Jamal Mckenzie (Liverpool John Moore’s University) Jermaine Coleman, Jy-Mel Coleman, Jerome Yates, (London Skolars) Joseph Brown (Newcastle), Jordan Andrade (Salford Reds) Joshua Hill ( Salford University) Lewis Bowman, Corey Hanson, Keenen Tomlinson (Unattached)