PETERS TO DEBUT
The USA Tomahawks are assembling in Honolulu this week in preparation for Saturday’s inaugural Ohana Cup Test match against Tonga.
The American National Rugby League has named a strong 19-man squad dominated by Hawaii-based players to take on the Tongans under lights in Honolulu.
Included in the US squad is high-profile rugby player Leonard Peters. The former University of Hawaii football player, who also had game time in the NFL, is in line to make his international rugby league debut for the Tomahawks.
In recent years, Peters has been part of USA Rugby XVs and Sevens teams, but in 2011 he was approached about trying the 13-man code as scouts felt his game was better suited to league. Any plans for playing time last year were curtailed by family reasons, but now the time is right and the opportunity is here for Peters, who has made himself available for the American national team.
The 19-man squad will be trimmed to a 17-man gameday roster.
The USA, #11 in the world rankings, will be taking a three-game win streak into the match against the 9th ranked Tongans. The Tomahawks haven’t lost a game since dropping the second Colonial Cup match to Canada last September, but since then they have ripped through all comers including South Africa, Jamaica and Ireland.
In those three contests, the USA has outscored the opposition 118-28 and has averaged 39 points for per game, while allowing a measly nine points against on average.
The Ohana Cup represents the first time a Test match of any kind has been played in Hawaii.
The match is scheduled to kick off at 7p local time on Saturday, May 12 at Kaiser Stadium in Honolulu.