Jamaica’s plans to make their Rugby League World Cup debut this year take another step forward when members of the British team meet for what coach Jermaine Coleman describes as a “training ground important “today in Leeds, England.
The Reggae Warriors are the first Caribbean nation to make the final stages of the competition, which is held in England from October 15 to November 19, after overcoming the challenge of the United States and Canada in the classification.
Coleman expects up to 30 players to attend this weekend’s activities, after taking advantage of a break in action between the three professional and semi-professional leagues in the UK to facilitate the internationals between England and a Combined Nations All Stars and Wales against France.
“We had hoped to organize a game ourselves, but that wasn’t possible, so this is a great opportunity to get everyone together and do some classroom sessions, look at the shape and structure, and then dedicate it. there is some time to work on the field we just talked about, “said Coleman, who played himself until he took over as coach during a transition period to the club’s (second tier) championship. London Broncos this season.
“It’s an opportunity in the afternoon to do a little media content and a little more connection with the team.
“Everyone present will be British, but we hope to include some younger guys, from the academy system, who will have the opportunity to meet the group and some staff members.
“They will all be inherited boys, as unfortunately the cost would be too high to bring players from the island.
“But there are potentially four or six players from Jamaica ‘s national competition that we hope to add to our expanded squad, which will be reduced to 25 before the World Cup begins.
“Improving the workforce is something we are always looking to do, but only if it is something that benefits the group.”
Winger Abevia McDonald is an example of this, currently in his second season with the London Skolars, after being introduced to the game at Excelsior Community College in Kingston and also played at Liguanea Dragons and Duhaney Park before move to the Atlantic.
“An important part of our identity is the good we have put together and the mentality,” continued Coleman, who was born in Leeds and is now a vice-principal at a high school in north London.
“Abevia played (and scored) the weekend and he will be there.
“Lloyd White (who currently plays for Toulouse Olympique in the French Super League and has represented Wales on 15 occasions) has joined the group and we potentially have a couple more Super League players.
“We were pretty close to getting Kallum Watkins (formerly of Leeds Rhinos and now Salford Central, 26 times with England) above the line, but has now been selected to the England coaching staff as well. that we will have to see if the final cut arrives.
“And there’s another Super League player we’re talking to.”
Another former Romeo Monteith player, who currently resides with his family in both Kingston and Canada, is the director of Rugby and will link up with the team closest to the competition.
Jamaica will face the strength of the winners of the 2008 World Cup New Zealand, Lebanon and Ireland during the group stage of the competition, which was postponed last year due to concerns about COVID-19.