Hello to everyone, I am back. As you may all be aware the last two weeks have been a very emotionally trying time for me with the sudden passing of my mother. This has been the reason for my absence from the net. As I am now back in the USA, i have the opportunity to get back into the swing of things.
There has been much that has happened in the last two weeks that I have not covered, but I am sure that everyone has been up to speed on things from other sources like rleague and Global Rugby League. However while I was back in Australia I was able to do a few things in Rugby League. So here is a quick summary of what’s been going on.
But before I do, I just want to say once again, sorry for the long pause between posts and that thank you for waiting while I was away.
While in Sydney, I was able to catch up with Tas Baitieri for lunch. One of the many things that were discussed was the situation in the USA and the development in North America of the sport. Tas obviously is taking a big interest in what’s going on over there with the world cup qualifiers. I also asked once again about the eligibility rules. Tas once again re-stated that players that have played for Origin this year have basically played for Australia and cannot be eligible for any other country in the World Cup. Tas however agrees that its a rule that is not in the best interest of the sport, but it is none the less the rules we have and need to go by them. Akiula Uate, knew that by playing Origin this would exclude him and still made that decision, with the consent and blessing of Fiji Rugby league.
However the main point that was discussed is how to make the game more global and have clubs and fans actually give a damn about the international game. Many ideas were discussed and some situations were gone over, but one positive thing that did come out of the meeting was that Tas asked for me to send him a report of sorts to him on what I propose.
I also was able to catch up with Terry Liberopoulous, we went to the Cronulla v Canberra game together and we discussed similar things as with Tas. The big issue that really did come out from both meetings was that for any sort of International Rugby League to work and for the sport to truly progress forward then the clubs, and in particular the NRL clubs need to come on board. However the way things are with the NRL and the in particular the Players association, its going to be one hell of a tough sell.
So really it starts with us, the fans. If we can put the pressure on the clubs to treat the sport with more respect then we have a chance of it actually going somewhere.
The next step in the road to Rugby League have been taken by Poland. Lukasz Lucka has had the first club in Poland registered with the local council and also has started some initial training. Lukasz and myself are now in some discussions with the RLEF about how to best proceed. The next important steps are to get some proper trainers in to start training the players as well as getting referees trained up.
Training session in Lodz, Poland.
One other issue is Kits, and while in Australia I have been able to source some full kits through Norway Rugby League’s Warren Heilig and have them sent to Lukasz, so once the first games are up and ready to be played, the players will have some proper Rugby League jerseys.
Training session in Poland
On Friday 22nd July, while at Brisbane airport I happened to meet up with Dane Campbell, the owner of the Jamaican Hurricanes. Dane was also on his way to the USA and then Jamaica to see how things are going and also to do a whole range of promotions on Jamaican Radio and TV. While going through the customs line with Dane I was able to find out a few of the things that Dane and the Hurricanes have in stall for us in the future.
The first thing is that with the recent signings of Everton “Monkeyman” Richards and Omar “Roachie” Jones, it seems that we will have another signing later this week with the Hurricanes making that 9 players all up. As many know there has been a large push by the Hurricanes with the Academy and the establishment of the team as a professional one. The Gold, Silver and Bronze partnership money goes straight into the Academy and this allows the players to concentrate on training and playing for the hurricanes.
Jamaica Hurricanes Dane Campbell (Left) and RLIS’ Daniel Andruczyk (Right) at Brisbane Airport
Speaking of playing, the question had to be asked about when the first game will be. At the moment the team is still being built but the aim is that by the 2013 USA season the Hurricanes will look to join in, weather its the AMNRL or USARL. However rather than being thrown straight into the deep end, the Hurricanes will look to first test the waters in a second division competition, and at the moment the Florida comp that has Orlando, Jacksonville and Daytona seems like the best option before stepping up to any higher level.
Dane is super excited with what is happening in Jamaica and when the Jamaican national team will be able to call upon these players I think it will be one of the forces to contend with in the North American Continent. As it is, from what I have seen I will be very surprised if Jamaica don’t make it to the world cup.
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