The American National Rugby League continues to gather momentum for the 2011 season with the Hawaiian Islands proving to be a hotbed for athletes eager to play. The Pacific Conference will kickoff mid June and a series of exciting matches are being scheduled for the islands of Oahu and Maui by Jack Breen and the AMNRL Hawaii management team. The response by established rugby clubs and players to be involved has been outstanding with USA Sevens player and Eagle XVs squad member Leonard Peters indicating he wants to have a crack at Rugby League.
Peters reportedly has his sights set on playing for one of the Hawaiian teams in the American National Rugby League this summer. Hawaii All Rugby Promotions, Inc has been established to promote touch rugby, sevens, union and league in the islands and that will include a Hawaiian team that will play promotional matches within the AMNRL expansion framework. Peters had a lengthy telephone conversation with USA Tomahawks team manager Jack Breen about those plans. Breen, who’s now based in Maui, says it doesn’t mean that Peters, or any other player, intends to switch codes. He said, “We are doing All Rugby - not asking anyone to switch codes, but instead to expand the number of codes they play.”
Peters was a star football player at the University of Hawaii and later made the Chicago Bears practice squad. He was one of the first so-called 'crossover' athletes identified by US Sevens coach Al Caravelli and got some game time with the full Eagles’ side during last year’s Churchill Cup series in Glendale, CO. His father has been very ill of late and Peters has been reluctant to leave Hawaii to attend Sevens team and Eagle player pool assemblies in order to be at home with his family.
Stay tuned for some big announcements over the next few days about the AMNRL Hawaii expansion plans that will include matches with other developing regions in the USA in 2011.