Playing rugby league professionally is pretty much a year-round proposition these days and no one is more aware of that than USA Tomahawk Ryan McGoldrick.
When he’s not turning out for the US national team, the hard-running center plies his trade with European Super League team Castleford Tigers.
McGoldrick was part of the USA’s successful run through the Rugby League World Cup qualifying series in Philadelphia last fall, but didn’t get much of a breather before he was back at it again in the UK preparing for the Super League season.
“After returning, I had two weeks’ break before preseason training started for Castleford,” McGoldrick tells WeAreRugby. “The trial games started early January and the competition started first week of February. So it has been pretty full on all year round.”
With the 2013 RLWC on the backburner, at least for the moment, Castleford’s #4 says there are other more immediate goals that he has set for himself.
“Just an injury free consistent season,” he said. “I'm also off contract so just currently sorting out my deal for the next coming years.”
Staying free of injury is perhaps easier said than done given the high standard of the Super League nowadays. It’s no longer somewhere for players to go to earn an easy quid as they did back in the day. McGoldrick says week in and week out it’s one of the hardest leagues on the planet.
“It's the second toughest competition in the world behind the NRL. It's getting stronger every year and is a full time commitment.”
The American National Rugby League is filling out the 2012 international schedule for the Tomahawks, which gets underway on St Patrick’s Day with the Donnybrook Cup match against Ireland. McGoldrick won’t be available for that one, nor the Tonga and Japan tests in the summer, but is keen to get back into the red, white and blue for the USA’s proposed autumn tour to either France or Italy.
“I definitely am interested in being part of the Tomahawks games. They fall at the end of our season so as long as my club gives me permission, I'm eager to play,” he said.
The icing on the cake of course will be next year’s World Cup. It will be the USA’s first ever appearance at the showcase tournament and McGoldrick says being a part of the team that clinched the Group D berth is truly satisfying.
“I'm just pleased for David Niu [AMNRL president] and his staff and ex-players that have worked so hard in the previous years to get the Tomahawks in the position they are now in. Doing those guys proud is what's important, and I mean it's the World Cup! What a buzz!!”
We will be keeping tabs on McGoldrick’s progress in the Super League so make a point of bookmarking this site to stay up to speed on how he goes in 2012.