The Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers to be hosted in Philadelphia by the American National Rugby League in October will be an exciting finale to what may be an historic season if the USA Tomahawks are able to beat Jamaica and South Africa to clinch a berth in the 2013 RLWC in England.
Competition for places on the final Tomahawks roster for the RLWCQ will be fierce. A number of high performance camps will be conducted around the country during the season to evaluate elite playing talent, along with lead up internationals against Canada in August and September. The Tomahawks coaching staff have been able to work with a number of combinations over the past two years based on local talent in international matches against Jamaica and Canada.
USA Tomahawks Head Coach (and current Penrith Panthers NRL head coach) Matt Ellliott is excited about the coming tournament, "The opportunity to assist the Tomahawks with their preparations for the World Cup Qualifiers is something that I'm genuinely looking forward to. At a developmental level, I will be aiming to share systems and structures of play and preparation that I hope can be utilized not only during this tournament but for future performances. From a personal perspective, the prestige and the opportunity to link up with the players in the US National Team is something that I am excited by."
The RLWCQ will be an opportunity to call on eligible foreign based professional players who have expressed an interest and are available for selection. Whilst it might seem wise to rely on such personnel, the AMNRL and Elliott see the need to support the local player base and develop a squad that will give the Tomahawks the best chance to qualify for the RLWC that represents the progress of the local domestic competitions also as vital to the future of the game in the USA. When asked about the playing squad, Elliott said, "Firstly I would like to see players from the domestic competition given priority. Further to that if there are eligible players of elite quality available, their inclusion would enhance the performance of other team members."
The AMNRL's quest to reach the Rugby League World Cup 2013 began a number of years ago.
Team Tomahawks is on a mission!
Current eligible foreign professionals with NRL, SLE, QLD Cup, NSW Cup, and Bundy Red Cup experience include:-
- Clint Newton
- Ryan McGoldrick
- Matty Petersen
- David Marando
- Danny Howard
- Steven Howard
- Mark Offerdahl
- Mark Cantoni
- Kristian Freed
- David Marando
- Nathan DeBartolo
- David Myles
- Charlie Leaeno
- Tyrone Coppedge
- Mitchell Stevens
Anyone playing outside of the USA that would like to make the American National Rugby League aware of their eligibility should email the AMNRL