Today there is much news about the game in the USA with the AMNRL Grand Finals and finally some junior development. Also Lebanon announce their train on squad for the World Cup Qualifiers.
Yesterday the New York Knights showed their dominance over the AMNRL season with a bruising win over the Connecticut Wildcats 38 – 4. It was a far cry from the close loss that the Knights suffered in the first round to the wildcats where they were forced to play each other when the Vipers could not field a team in the opening double header. The Grand Final was played at the Pier 40 Stadium in New York, the Knights home ground which would have given them an advantage. It was a wet and slippery night as well, the Knight handled it better and were able to produce a total brucking which gave the Knights a Championship in their 10th year anniversary year. So congratulations to the New York Knights, 2011 AMNRL Champions. Next stop for the AMNRL is the two Colonial Cup games against Canada next week in Philly and then on the 17th September in Toronto and then the World Cup Qualifiers against Jamaica and South Africa at Campbell’s Baseball Field in new Jersey in October.
From Phil Caplan
Rugby League in the USA is set to take a major step forward with the institution of the first ever middle school programme approved to take place in Rhode Island for the 2011 autumn term.
The schedule will start with two Providence Middle Schools – Essek Hopkins & Roger Williams – playing tag Rugby League twice a week from October through to December as part of a 10 week induction.
It will consist of 52 players making up four teams between both schools. The goal is to expand to six surrounding schools in 2012 and 2013.
The RIRL school programme will include lessons in: History of Rugby League, safety, nutrition and fitness, injury prevention – supported by Ullucci Sports Medicine, passing and kicking skills and tackling techniques & defensive drills
Leading the development initiative are Rhode Island Rebellion team owners Lawrence Almagno and Anthony Nardolillo. In their inaugural year as a team, RIR have created a buzz in the local Providence area and last week were the feature piece on Cable TV’s Man vs Food Show.
Lawrence Almagno explained, “Rugby League requires kids to communicate, trust, cooperate, and accept responsibility for their actions within a team environment.”
“The skills these children will learn will permeate into their everyday life and help them perform better in school, socially and academically.”
The programme has the full support of the USARL and the league is eager to see the it progresses before adopting into other geographic areas
BAYSSARI ANNOUNCES LEBANON TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Lebanon coach David Bayssari has named a 39-man train-on squad for October’s 2013 Rugby League World Cup European Zone Qualifiers, following consultation with the French Federation’s Thierry Dumaine, the LRLF’s technical assistant.
Included are fifteen of the 2009 European Cup squad, which finished third after victories against Italy and Ireland, while eight players who represented Lebanon in the 2008 World Cup qualifiers return in a selection that is bristling with both experience and young talent.
“I am extremely satisfied with the players we have chosen,” said Bayssari, who became Lebanon’s fifth head coach in June. “Having spoken to our Australian-based players, the desire to represent Lebanon is as strong as ever and everyone is determined to help the Cedars qualify for the World Cup in 2013. Thierry Dumaine did a wonderful job in Morocco and I know the players in Lebanon have worked exceptionally hard, so everything augurs well for a good qualifying campaign in October.”
NRL first graders, Cronulla’s Johnny Mannah and Canberra speedster Reece Robinson headline the group, while canny Balmain utility George Ndaira, who drew such impressive reviews following his performances against Wales and Ireland in 2007, provides play-making ingenuity.
He is joined by Parramatta’s ex-NSW Origin Under 16s stand off Jason Wehbe, the likely star of the up and coming generation. Joining the 19-year-old Wehbe is Canterbury Bulldogs’ prolific Toyota Cup fullback Daniel Abou-Sleiman, former Cronulla NYC second rower Ahmad Ellaz, Sharks Toyota Cup utilities Ali Hijazi and Michael Lichaa, and Balamand’s teenage hooker Samer Neghme, who played for Liban Espoir (Lebanon U20) in March before making a seamless jump to the full national side for this summer’s tour to Morocco.
Bayssari added: “The selection of youngsters such as Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Ali Hijazi, Jason Wehbe and Michael Lichaa in particular is indicative of the talent and I know there are many more players coming through our development systems who will be the cornerstone of the Lebanon national team in the years ahead.”
Immortals RLFC forward Robin Hachache, who heads up a four-strong component from Lebanon’s champion domestic club, is almost an ever-present Cedar since debuting in the 2007 qualifiers, having missed only the 2009 European Cup match against Ireland due to illness, and will be hoping to add to his 11 caps.
The squad will be cut to 30 on 19 September and will combine in Lebanon in the second week of October ahead of their opening match against Serbia on 16 October.
LEBANON TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Paul Khauli (AUB); Ahmad El Masri (AUST); Samer Neghme, Gaeton Osman, Allen Soultan (Balamand); George Ndaira (Balmain Tigers); Nick Kassis (Cabramatta); Reece Robinson (Canberra Raiders); Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Steve Azzi (Canterbury Bulldogs); Ali Hijazi, Michael Lichaa, Johnny Mannah (Cronulla Sharks); Youssef El Helou, Pierre Nasr (Jounieh RLFC); Ibrahim Ballout, Robin Hachache, Rudy Hachache, Walid Yassin (LAU Immortals RLFC); Ray Moujalli (Manly Sea Eagles); Anthony Farah, Adham El Zbedieh (Mounties); Charlie Farah (Narrabeen); Jamie Clark, Khaled Deeb, Ahmed Ellaz (Newtown Jets); Joshua Mansour (North Sydney); Jason Wehbe (Parramatta Eels); Danny Barakat, Daniel Chiha, Ali Kourouche, Toufic Nicolas, Chris Saab, Adnan Saleh (St John’s Eagles); Travis Robinson (unattached); Liam Ayoub (Western Suburbs);; Monir Finan, Ray Finan, Nemer Saliba (Wolves RLFC).