The North versus South Origin game featuring the best domestic players, will return this year as part of the USA Rugby League sporting calendar. Scheduled for Tampa on 9 September, it will be part of the Hawks’ build up to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
“Post regular season, this match is another opportunity to impress selectors for the 23-man squad going to the World Cup,” commented USARL chairman, Peter Illfield. “It highlights the importance of the 2017 season for our clubs and players by recognizing and acknowledging the talent shown during the year.”
The event will again be hosted by Tampa Mayhem at Tampa Catholic High School Football Stadium, with South looking to retain the title they dramatically won 38-32 last year.
Tampa Mayhem co-owner, Chris Dickerson noted; “The event last year was not only a huge success for us as a club, but great for the growth of rugby league as the USARL continues to expand into new frontiers. Florida is a place where the sport will continue to grow and this year’s event will be even bigger and better.”
Last Tackle, a reality sports documentary company that is currently producing a series charting the rise of Toronto Wolfpack which is being broadcast into 50 million U.S. households, will be again supporting the event as sponsors.
Brooklyn Kings’ Brent Richardson will coach the North for the second time and Sean Rutgerson (Jacksonville Axemen), o is part of the USA national staff alongside head coach Brian McDermott, the South.
“The All-star game allows players to test their ability against the best in the competition and gives much needed spotlight for identifying talent,” said Richardson. “It is vital that we get an understanding of which American players can match it with the best in the world and this game is the perfect stepping stone.”
NORTH ’ALL-STAR’ SQUAD
Mike Elias (Boston 13s), Matthew Almedia, Domenic Defalco, Ty Elkins, Corey Jones, Marcus Satavu, Seimou Smith, Dane Wilcoxen (Brooklyn Kings), Martwain Joshson (Delaware Black Foxes), Abe Cohen, Kyle Depew, Josh Rice, Karim Singleton (New York Knights), Bryant Alexander, Chris Frazier (Northern Virginia Eagles), Gabe Farley, Andrew Kneisly, Roman Lowery (Philadelphia Fight), Luke Barron, CJ Cortalano, Dave Grenier, George Reis, Matt Walsh (White Plains Wombats)
SOUTH ’ALL-STAR’ SQUAD
Zac Blalock, Sean Hunt, Hiku Malu, Nick Newlin, Tomu Osbourne, Jason Paul Junior, Terrance Williams (Atlanta Rhinos), Taylor Alley, Josh Jackson, Bart Longchamp, Sterling Wynn (Central Florida Warriors), Jonathan Halter, Steven Hill, John Purnell, Kris Townsil, Pio Vatuvei, David Washington (Jacksonville Axemen), Justin Branca, Josh Heath, Jon St John, Travis Miller, Mike Stoeling, Dave Ulch (Tampa Mayhem)