In light of the American National Rugby League’s increasing expansion and its rapidly rising popularity, coupled with the USA Tomahawks’ qualification for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, yet another top line player is looking to return to the fold.
Blockbusting center Akarika Dawn is on rugby league’s equivalent to the free agent market and like other current and former national team players, is looking to be signed by an AMNRL club for the upcoming season.
Dawn joins the likes of Tomahawks skipper Apple Pope whom stayed loyal to the AMNRL and ex-national team players Kenny Britt, Damien O’Malveney and Ben Kelly, all of whom are set to make a return to the AMNRL this season.
For the past three years, Dawn, who hails from the Texas Gulf Coast city of Houston, has been playing for the Jacksonville Axemen, one of the teams that broke away from the AMNRL in 2011 to form their own competition, but he says the time is right to make the move.
“It’s not a secret in order to play in the World Cup I would have to cross over so this is a simple decision,” Dawn told WeAreRugby.
“My goal is to play for the country and this is the route I must take.”
Dawn, a former linebacker at the University of Colorado, made an instant impact when he first turned out for Jacksonville in 2009 and played a big part in the team’s run to the AMNRL championship in 2010.
He says even though he hasn’t been in the spotlight since then, his form now is as good if not better than it was two seasons back.
“I haven't stopped playing and I aim to contribute to the Tomahawks,” said Dawn. “My skills have only gotten better, now I want to take it to the next level.”
Dawn is hoping to hear from AMNRL clubs needing to shore up their rosters in 2012 and already the new franchise in Atlanta, The Legion, has taken the initiative by reaching out to the big center.