Jamaica continues its preparation for the 2011 Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers, when they take on the Canadian national side for the 2011 Carnival Cup. The game will be played on July 31 at Fletchers Field, Markham, Ontario and should attract a large turnout as it will be staged during the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto.
The Wolverines, as the Canadian team is called, are looking to avenge the 32-12 defeat they suffered against the Reggae Ruggers in the 2010 Atlantic Cup in the USA. They will field their strongest available team and with home court advantage, should fancy their chances of upsetting 24th ranked islanders. JRLA Chairman and head of the Jamaican Delegation Ventley Brown, is pleased that Canada Rugby League is facilitating the game, “ The Canadian Rugby League, headed by Eric Perez and Corey Tukeli have done a tremendous job in organizing this fixture, it means a lot to us to play this game on Jamaica Day during the festival and we hope many Jamaican and Caribbean fans will come out in support of the team”
The Jamaicans will be without their professional super-stars playing in the United Kingdom, and will depend on a strong domestic based squad to extend their dominance over their North American rivals. The team has started preparations for the game and is in the process of finalizing visa arrangements for the encounter.
Jamaica has been building a reputation in the rugby league world as an exciting team with an up tempo playing style. Although attracting major international partners such as the Rugby League European Federation, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and Kukri Sports, the team still struggles to find corporate support on the island, where the sporting landscape is dominated by bigger sports Track and Field, Football and Netball. To date only Supreme Ventures Ltd. and Body Pro Fitness Centre have signed on as official partners for the teams historic quest to qualify the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and Development Manager and coach of the team heading to Canada, Romeo Monteith, would like to see this change.
According to Monteith, “We are definitely growing each year and would like to see other local corporate partners support this fantastic game. It’s the world’s toughest team sport and it promotes discipline and camaraderie like no other sport can, these are qualities desperately needed in our young men. It only takes a little help from different partners to keep the sport going and we are asking any interested company, local or international to contact us if they want to help”
Regarding the game against Canada, Monteith is looking forward to the challenge. “It will be a tremendous test for us, although they are our brothers and a great supporter of the game in the Northern hemisphere, it is going to be war on July 31st as national pride will be on the line. The Canadian head coach Jamie Lester has already stated that they have no intention to come in second, and Jamaicans do not believe in the number two position either, so it will be a battle royal for the number one spot. Jamaica must give a fierce and proud performance, anything less will be a dishonor to our colours and our players are well aware of this”.
Jamaica National Rugby League Squad:
Adrian Myers-GC Foster College Damon Gayle, Jermaine Pinnock, Marvin Thompson, Roy Calvert, Romaen Campbell, Robert Rodney, Ryan Grant –Duhaney Park Red Sharks, Nicholas Wright-Maxfield Star Steppers, Andrew Fong, Claude Yen, Carlye Burger, Jahdeek Clarke, Jade Harrison, Omar Jones, Tiege Jackson, Sandino Hastings, Tyronie Rowe -Vauxhall Vultures.
Staff: Romeo Monteith, Andrew Dixon, Richardo Robinson and Ventley Brown.
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