USA Prepare for 2011

By Daniel Andruczyk

OK so the World Cup article is almost complete, just getting it OK by people I have quotes, so that will be up soon. But you know how the Rugby League authorities like to drag their feet sometimes. Anyway still no official world from David Niu or the AMNRL about anything to do with the split and I know its frustrating a lot of fans and people and its starting to looking bad. However the AMNRL is pushing along with their 2011 preparations.

Mini Camp

Sunday 23rd January sees a USA Tomahawks Mini Camp (see article here) in Philadelphia at Swathmore College. It will be an interesting one considering the amount of snow and cold that is in the North of the USA at the moment, so most probably will be inside. This is the first of three camps to be help this year. The next one will be in New York City and then the last will be in Jacksonville Florida, does this mean that USARL players will be included?

The AMNRL staff will be getting their first look at potential players for the team and will help in the selection process. There will be a large defensive component in this camp as well focusing on techniques and core skill development. This will be leading up to the first USA international for the year which is against the Irish on the 19th of March. Its not clear whether its a full Irish team (as most of their top players are involved in ESL and NRL at that time) or the Amateur Irish Wolfhounds team, which will probably be looking as a warm up for their Home Nations campaign this year. The last time the USA and Ireland played was in 2004.

The USA will then take on Canada in a renewal of the Colonial Cup. This will be a two game series help at the end of September and this will lead into the World Cup Qualifiers against Jamaica and South Africa in October.

Mascords on the Money.

This week Steve Mascords weekly Discord column (view here) has some interesting comments and scoops. Seems with the 4 Nations tournament the organisers are going to be happy for the Kiwis and Aussies to play their game in the Antipodes. Seems that the likely candidate will be Skilled Park in the Gold Coast. A great Choice in my opinion, its a 27 – 30,000 set stadium and we know from previous years this is about the right size for the end of year internationals. It most probably will be a full sell-out since this will be the only International involving the Kangaroos in Australia this year.

It also seems that there is a bit more riding on the Millennium Magic Weekend which is coming up fast. It will determine weather the 4 Nations double header will be in Cardiff or be taken to Wembley. So one of these venues will get two massive events in one year. A real boon for either. My personal feelings on this is that it should be at Wembley. Have England take on Australia and Wales take New Zealand. Wembley is considered the spiritual Home of Rugby League in Great Britain and so should have one of the biggest games of the year there. Imagine if Wales and England can win their matches there, the place would be electric!

Mascord also talks about the Atlantic World Cup Qualifiers being held in Jacksonville. This was the hope of the Axemen who organised the 2010 and 2011 championships but I think its been now known for a while that well basically somewhere that’s not Jacksonville will get them. I have even heard Denver being talked about for internationals this year. But it seems that Steve as everyone else seem to be getting the cold Shoulder/Run around from the AMNRL about the new comp as he is not getting any info either. But curiously he says that he contacted Star Group to get a response “Certainly, no-one from Star Group of the AMNRL has been willing to answer my questions or those of the breakaway clubs about the nature of their relationship, which does raise concern.” this seems to give the impression that Star Group is involved in the working of the AMNRL somehow.

All-Stars Bandwagon and International Schedule

Seems that the All-Stars concept is starting to catch on. Though the Australian concept is very unique and I think the English have lost the translation of what the All-Star match is, they are seriously exploring a similar concept to try and help prepare the National team. But seems that the USA is also looking into it, well the Western Expansion teams anyway. I received and invite from the Dallas Dragons this week for a East v West All-Stars match to be held on the 5th of October. Hopefully this will not clash with any of the planned Colonial Cup and World Cup Qualifiers. Should be interesting to see who turns out for this match.

A final note the 2011 international Schedule is Starting to fill out nicely. You can have a look at what matched and dates have been confirmed here. The European World Cup Qualifier dates have been set. No word yet on the Euro Shield, Bowl and Med tournaments, but I believe in February there is a RLEF meeting to confirm these and an announcement will be made.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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37 Responses to “USA Prepare for 2011”

  1. dragons4eva says:

    Thanks for the blog Druzik. Good to hear what’s happening around the world.

    Interesting how the Aussies and NZders wanna play their game at Skilled Park. Reminds me of when they use to play a game here in the Southern hemisphere and then go to GB to play. Be interesting to see where they play at either Wembley or Milleneum.

    As for the AMNRL it is getting beyond a joke. Sure we’ve heard how there is going to be the AMNRL this year but no one from their side has stood up and given their side of the story. A simple statement or explanation would be nice.

    Nevertheless well done.

    • druzik says:

      Agree. its becoming a bit ridiculous with the lack of info from the AMNRL.

      • JMC says:

        I don’t think that it is ridiculous at all. The AMNRL is THE brand. I think it makes perfect sense for them to totally ignore the new comp and refuse to give them any additional press. There is no good way for them to spin this, so their best move is to keep it as quiet as they can.

      • druzik says:

        That is a fair call I guess.

        But there are a lot of fans out there who want to know what is going on. One official press release would have sufficed… or to use someone independent like myself or Mascord to get some info out.

  2. juro says:

    Weather or whether (or even wether)? Sorry to be picky, Druzik…

  3. International League says:

    I would have to agree that the AMNRL is making the right decision in making no reference to the USARL at all. Why should he give it any credit as a real competition, at least until it is an operational real comp. It makes me think that the USARL won’t have players in the tomahawks.

    Also the mini camps are a fantastic idea, as it shows the players that the admin are really serious about doing well at international level.

  4. jannerboyuk says:

    Interesting to see that one of the tomahawks elite camps is till due to be held in jacksonville though
    Also the seattle stoem have withdrawn fom the western expansionto concentrate developing the game locally.

  5. Ashley says:

    So things continue to develop in the US. I don’t think two separate leagues makes a difference for an amateur sport that’s not on the radar. Awareness is all that matters right now.

    The main problems I see will be at international level as various people have mentioned the legality of a breakaway league with regard to international elligibiliy.

    Someone from the RLEF or RLIF should get
    Over there and get some answers from both sides; especially the AMNRL, we can’t have silence and denial forever.

  6. jippeejew says:

    hello – this brings back memories of the superleague and a.r.l battle ……. any one remember that , super league zero , a.r.l zero , lawyers millions !!! 

    other than that ,having refereed in the 2009 a.m.n.r.l season , I do beleive in rugby league in the u.s.a. , every action made there is a reaction , my fingers are crossed for a great outcome . interesting times ahead …….. 

  7. Parraeelsnrl says:

    only in RL do you see these boofheads fighting for control all the time.

  8. major says:

    I cant help but wonder at some of these posts saying fans are getting testy and that need to know whats happening in the USA . ( I have to think that is the past team leaders of the teams who left the amnrl .
    I don’t think the amnrl has to talk about the problem . Those teams that left still may lose players before their season and cease to exist . The season is 5 months away . The AMNRL is only worried about the IRish and probably building some new power house teams. I find it hard to believe that there really are that many people that are worried about it in the fan world . My take as a native American fan is that the AMNRL is going to be fine .They may restructure a little add a couple powerhouse teams beef up the ones they have . They have the connections and the USA team and Charismatic great Coaches that lead it . The new league will have a OK first year (maybe) travel to florida can crush a teams budget quickly. The guys in charge will make it look great like they said with great websites thats for sure . Probably some players will switch clubs the next year and it will fade out or teams will switch back . The western teams will probably stay with the top comp whoever it ends up being . )probably AMNRL since most players will be selected for USA team thru that comp . The AMNRL will now be revitalized by the exudus of bad strangely misguided leadership .
    Anyway you look at it it will be good to have Rugby league spread more / revitalized and thats a good thing .


    • druzik says:

      Well it seems that no one knows how the AMNRL is run anymore. I think thats been one of the big frustrations. There certainly has been enough interest from fans around the world in whats been happening in the USA, from twitter for Forums people are asking question.

      I can see the point that the AMNRL doesnt want to promote the other side…. and I am assuming that you are aligned with the AMNRL, which is fine.

      I am curious about the building of a new power house team? What does that mean, is it going to be something along the lines of Lokomotive in Moscow?

      Well as for your website comments… wont the AMNRL be doing the same? Certainly the issue on websites has been a big one with basically none being in existance for about a year, not one that has been updated anyway.

      I am curious to know why you think the USARL leadership is misguided. Seems you have some inside knowledge and would love to know more and get the info out.

  9. deluded pom? says:

    I wonder who the Major could be?

  10. major says:

    The Major is the voice of reason.

    who is the deluded pom ?

  11. Interested Observer says:

    This is ground control to Major….

    I am a RL fan and I do not live in the USA. I am not involved with the new USARL in anyway. I know of many international fans and players who are wanting to hear from the AMNRL and who do want to know what is going on in the USA in 2011. Fans and players should not be treated as fools.

    The small of amount of information that is being released leads many to ask a whole range of questions:

    Powerhouse teams is a great catch phrase but what does it actually mean?

    If the AMNRL want the planned expansion teams to align with them, how will that work and who will fund away games, given the high costs involved?

    What happened to the USNRL concept?

    What is Star Groups involvement now with RL in the USA? They appear to have gone beyond the role of a marketing group.

    As I said, many questions. I see that the AMNRL feel they don’t need to provide information about these issues but I believe that fans and players have a right to know. It is true that the AMNRL has achieved its success through the hard work of a small few, but without the players and those who support the game, there would be no RL in the USA at all.

    People just want to know what is happening and I don’t think that is an unreasonable expectation.

  12. major says:

    Actually I first linked to you thru great points . I have to agree that the amnrl should put out something at some point for the fans . Why rush they probably think . As an American I never saw league or union growning up and girls thought union was played with lax sticks when you told them you were a rugby guy at the bar . lol – having not grown up with it and never seeing it on TV I can’t relate to the fact that there are a ton of fans out though that would be flattering . When I speak to my Aussie friend they don’t seem to think anyone knows anything about the Rugby League in the usa . Maybe he is more into union like I was .

  13. major says:

    mistake: I started adding something there . It should have said “I first found you off thru the Phil. site i think . “Then “great points “

  14. major says:

    also my mistake it was also in the article at the top so obviously just good journalism trying to get the story . I have looked for news in past years on Rugby union and League in the USA and I have noticed in the amnrl puts out stuff in 1-2 week increments so probably something will come out after a little while . I only hear rumors about stuff thru friends but from what I heard the AMNRL is stronger because of it Full of Powerhouse teams lol (that was a good one you got me).As an ex CT Wild-Cat I could be bias, but so is everyone one way or another at some level (but good point) . I’m only on line here and there but will try to check in and find out news for the Interested Observer.(This is funny stuff I love it)

    • druzik says:

      One of the reason I developed this site is so that the smaller nations have an outlet to get their voice heard. It may be hard sometimes to promote themselves with a foreign website but to come in and have a centralised site with news and results I thought was important. Particularly when there was no RLIF site at the time and really next to other sports no one else in League was doing anything like it.

  15. juro says:

    I saw David Niu was again talking about lawyers in his tweets a couple days ago. This may be one more reason the AMNRL are reluctant to release anything of their own – just in case it influences any legal issues…?

    • druzik says:

      It may, but David is the President of the AMNRL… either he should come out and say something officially or not go on little rants on twitter. He can say all he wants about liable etc… but no one has said anything that is libel or slandering anywhere. He has been given ample opportunity to come on here and else where and say something properly… but at the moment he is not talking to anyone. I know that even Steve Mascord is getting the cold shoulder!

  16. Interested Observer says:

    Nice reply Major, a bit confused about comments re Philly site but none the less, good to hear from someone who is/was a player in the AMNRL

  17. major says:

    Sorry I meant I think I got the link to this site from the Phil teams web-site.

    Juro that was my thought a couple of weeks back . I thought who is stopping the AMNRL from suing this new league since it kept the same team names and basically tried a sneak attack on the AMNRL. You would think that the AMNRL could sue each team individually or the people who made the decisions on each team.
    Eitherway I’m sure a couple of the teams/Ceo’s could afford a lawyer but could all the CEO’s afford it, or even want to deal with that . I figure they will wait to sue them to see who gets involved first. Wow, I guess its not really funny . Its gonna get hectic the next year … It has energized me to come out of retirement and play again . I will also be bringing a bunch of players to the Wild Cats and other teams in AMNRL using my past connections. I know a ton of union guys in NJ so I’m going to tell them whats up and send them to whatever NJ team is in AMNRL. I see that a little change in AMNRL might have been good. But it seems as there wasn’t much of a chance for it to be implemented before a new league was attempted. Almost like a pre-planned sabotage of the AMNRL. The AMNRL has too many connections is my bet. This also energized a lot of older AMNRL team leaders and players . If I was a betting man my money is behind the AMNRL.

  18. Interested Observer says:

    Major, nice to hear from someone with an AMNRL allegiance. I am not saying I support either competition at present as I need to heara lot more fromboth sides to know what is going on but it is good to hear an opinion from someone who is on the AMNRL side of the fence. This is what we need, info from the USARL and the AMNRL.

  19. leagueworld says:

    Actually the AMNRL has NO grounds to sue the breakaway clubs unless they owned the brand names (which they don’t) The only team which was a possibility was the Pitt Vipers (who were apparently directed to adopt such a name) and they have changed their name anyway.

    • druzik says:

      Yes the Pittsburgh team never wanted the vipers name and were instructed by star group to use it.

      But I think the sue-ing is about site like this one and Mascord writing about whats going on. I think that is what the threats are meant to be.

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