The Triple Threat!!
The USA will be venturing to the UK and Wales in October to take part in their first ever Rugby League World Cup, but, while they may be World Cup novices, they’re not without experience at the highest level.
The Tomahawks squad will contain a mix of domestic and overseas-based players and among the contingent will be a trio who play their club football in the two best competitions in the world - the NRL and Super League.
Ryan McGoldrick (Salford City Reds), Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels) and Clint Newton (Penrith Panthers) are names that should be well-known to Rugby League fans in both hemispheres.
McGoldrick, or ‘Goldy’ as he’s known to his teammates, has been making a name for himself around Super League for some time, having spent seven seasons with the Castleford Tigers before joining Hull FC in 2012. The hard-running centre, who signed with the Reds for 2013, is one tough hombre, and has been on the American National Rugby League’s radar since the mid-2000s.
McGoldrick first played for the Tomahawks in the 2007 RLWC2013 Qualifier against Tonga at Widnes and donned the red, white and blue again in November 2011 for the Atlantic Zone crunch match against Jamaica in Philadelphia. He played a leading role in the USA’s big win against the Reggae Warriors, a result that sealed the Tomahawks’ berth in Group D.
Meantime, Joseph Paulo has been tearing it up with the Eels since bursting onto the NRL scene in 2012. Little more than a year ago he was a virtual unknown to most Australian Rugby League fans, but, after paying his dues in the lower grades, ‘Sefa’ got a break last season and has ‘made every post a winner’?? since then to the point where he’s now a regular starter in Ricky Stuart’s top side.
Paulo debuted for the Tomahawks in 2011 and made an immediate impact, winning MVP honours in the opening RLWC2013 Qualifier against South Africa.
Both McGoldrick and Paulo qualify for the USA as each has a parent who was born in the United States, or in Paulo’s case, American Samoa.
The third pillar of America’s triple threat is Clint Newton, a no-nonsense second-rower who’s been carving up the NRL. Newton has generally been starting from the bench for Penrith following stints with the Newcastle Knights and Melbourne Storm, and is regarded by many these days as one of the league’s more dangerous impact players.
Newton, who was born in South Carolina, has yet to play for the Tomahawks, having been drafted into the AMNRL’s Elite Player Pool late last year.
Together, the trio will bring a wealth of experience and know-how to the Tomahawks’ RLWC2013 campaign, but they won’t be expected to do it all themselves - they’ll have a band of brothers alongside them, each committed to giving his all for the USA.
And the AMNRL’s Football Development Manager Steve Johnson says the Tomahawks pride themselves on developing home-grown talent.
“We have a squad of 24 players and with some of our heritage players being born in the USA, we could have as many as 12 American-born players at RLWC2013 , which not only will be a great thing for the domestic game, but one of the highest of the competing nations other than Australia and the ‘home’ nations,” he said.
The USA squad is due to assemble in Philadelphia in mid-October prior to leaving for RLWC2013.
The Tomahawks face Cook Islands at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol, on October 30, Wales at the Racecouse Ground, Wrexham, on November 3 and Scotland at the Salford City Stadium on November 7.