After six weeks of USARL competition, the growing strength of the domestic game in the USA has been illustrated in the initial 35-man Hawks train-on squad, which has been named to face Canada for a two-game series in September and October.
There are 28 newcomers to the representative arena in a group that encompasses all 14 teams. 2014 Premiers Atlanta Rhinos have the most selections, with their seven selections making up a fifth of the total.
The USARL held a selection camp in DeLand, Florida, with two more to follow – in the North East and Mid-Atlantic regions – allowing other players to force their way into consideration before the squad is trimmed to 21 players.
USARL Chairman Peter Illfield, who has assumed the coaching role in preparation for Leeds Rhinos supremo Brian McDermott to take over for the World Cup Qualifiers against Jamaica and Canada later in the year, is excited by the new talent coming through.
“I have been surprised with the quality of the players,” he said.
“Watch out for the younger guys coming through like Terrance Williams, Roman Lowery, David Aguilar, Shaun Chowdhury and Urban Iyo.”
“The pre-selection gives recognition to those who stand out and to provides motivation for others to compete for positions. Specific strength and conditioning programmes will be provided to the squad to better prepare them for the rigorous schedule ahead. Skill camps will be scheduled prior to the USARL National Championship Final on August 29 and leading up to our international commitments.” Illfield added.
USARL Hawks pre-select squad is as follows:
David Aguilar – Jacksonville Axemen
Taylor Alley – Central Florida Warriors
Lucas Baistrocci – Boston 13s
Kenny Britt – Central Florida Warriors
Ryan Burroughs – Northern Virginia Eagles
Shaun Chowdhury – Brooklyn Kings
Casey Clark – Philadelphia Fight
Obe Cohen – New York Knights
CJ Cortalano – New York Knights
Marcos Flegmann – Boston 13s
Jared Frymoyer – Philadelphia Fight
Michael Garvey – Philadelphia Fight
Justin Hacket – Northern Virginia Eagles
Phil Hammack – Brooklyn Kings
Rich Henson – Philadelphia Fight
Urban Iyo – Boston 13s
Asa Jearld – Washington DC Slayers
Mike Jones – Rhode Island Rebellion
Andrew Kneisly – Philadelphia Fight
Tobias Kreider – Delaware Black Foxes
Roman Lowery – Philadelphia Fight
Nick Newlin – Atlanta Rhinos
Bryan Phelps – Tampa Mayhem
Jon Purnell – Jacksonville Axemen
Tyree Reeves – Washington DC Slayers
Joe Rickert – Northern Virginia Eagles
Tone Rodriguez – Brooklyn Kings
Andrew Stockhecker – Rhode Island Rebellion
Mike Timpano – Philadelphia Fight
David Ulch – Tampa Mayhem
John Vella – Bucks County Sharks
Gareth Walker – Central Florida Warriors
Matt Walsh – Connecticut Wildcats
Kevin Wiggins – Delaware Black Foxes
Terrance Williams – Atlanta Rhinos