As tickets go on sale in Florida this week for the Firehouse Subs Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers – Americas, the hosts have named their train-on squad for their matches against Jamaica and Canada at Hodges Stadium, Jacksonville.
Leeds Rhinos coach Brian McDermott will be in charge for the first time as the USA look to emulate their feats of 2013 when they reached the World Cup quarter finals. Five of that squad are included this time; full back Kristian Freed, Tui Samoa, Danny Howard, Steve Howard and London Broncos’ new recruit prop Mark Offerdahl.
“There’s been a very thorough selection process and I can’t wait to get started with the staff and players,” said McDermott. “They’re a committed bunch of men and I’m really looking forward to working with everyone.”
NOVA Eagle Ryan Burroughs was the leading try scorer in the USARL last season while newcomer Sam Carson from Norths Devils in the Queensland Cup is only 20 and qualifies through having an American mother.
USA HAWKS SQUAD
Taylor Alley (Central Florida Warriors), Luke Barron (Mitchelton Panthers), Ryan Burroughs (NOVA Eagles), Sam Carson (Norths Devils QLD Cup), Casey Clark, Jared Frymoyer, Rich Henson, Andrew Kneisly, Roman Lowery, Mike Timpano (Philadelphia Fight), Abe Cohen, CJ Cortalano (New York Knights), Kristian Freed (Mitchelton Panthers), Danny Howard, Steve Howard (Wentworthville Magpies), Taylor Howden (Mid-West Stockyarders), Nick Newlin (Atlanta Rhinos), Mark Offerdahl (London Broncos), Jon Purnell (Jacksonville Axemen), Tui Samoa (Young Cherrypickers), Matt Walsh (Connecticut Wildcats), Kevin Wiggins (Delaware Black Foxes).
Coach: Brian McDermott,
Trainers: Sean Rutgerson, Ben Kelly