AMNRL Press Release – USA Tomahawks 2011 Outlook and Player Eligibility

From the AMNRL press office

Donnybrook Cup, Colonial Cup and Rugby League World Cup qualifier And Eligibility

Philadelphia, PA (February 28, 2011) – The American National Rugby League is excited to present the Donnybrook Cup International Rugby League match between the USA Tomahawks and Ireland Wolfhounds. Taking place on Saturday, March 19 at 4pm, the match will be played at Charles Martin Stadium, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. A big crowd is expected to support both teams as a part of the 2011 St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

This match will be the seventh battle between the two nations on U.S. soil, with the USA at four wins, Ireland with two.

The USA Tomahawks roster is scheduled to be announced on Wednesday, March 9th. In what is expected to be an exciting year for the Tomahawks, they are also playing two home-away internationals against the Canadian Wolverines in August. October will feature the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers, as the USA will be attempting to qualify for the 2013 World Cup. The Tomahawks will be looking to earn their first birth in the World Cup tournament.

All USA Tomahawk players will be chosen who satisfy the following:

For purposes of this rule a “National Team Event” shall mean any officially sanctioned AMNRL National Team (i.e. USA Tomahawk) game, practice, training camp, press conference or other event involving the U.S. National Team. In addition to abiding by all AMNRL rules and policies with respect to player insurance, waiver forms, nationality requirements etc., all players must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible to participate in any National Team event:

1. Be registered to play with a club that has been approved by the AMNRL to compete in the 2011 AMNRL season or;

2. If the player is not a member of an approved club, upon separate application to the league and after the league’s approval, be registered as an AMNRL “At Large Player”.

Under no circumstances will any AMNRL player who is registered with a club in the AMNRL for the 2011 season or an approved At-Large player be permitted to practice with, play with or in any way be connected with or hold themselves out to be connected with any other league or competition that plays the game of rugby league in the United States which has not been officially sanctioned by the AMNRL. Any breach of this rule will revoke a player’s eligibility to participate in any National Team Event.

All determinations surrounding player eligibility under this rule shall be made by the AMNRL.

Contact details: David Niu,


Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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53 Responses to “AMNRL Press Release – USA Tomahawks 2011 Outlook and Player Eligibility”

  1. Interested Observer says:

    Wouldn’t it be easier if the AMNRL just come out and said, “Hey, if you play in the USARL then we won’t pick you”. This all seems so stupid and there is no possible way the best USA team will be on the field without some of the guys from the USARL teams.

    The AMNRL will have no choice but to use some players from overseas who qualify through ancestry. This is very spiteful and will not endear Dave Niu or others from the AMNRL with many RL fans.

    • druzik says:

      Well I have heard down the grape vine that the team was already picked and informed last week! All the stuff that there are selection trials etc… are just a screen.

      Again not sure how true this is and will look into it.

      • Gannon says:

        You are absolutley correct.
        There is NO selection process and no ‘camps’
        The last one theytried to have at Swarthmore College was so badly threw the 8 of them out.
        The game last Saturday..1st game of season featuring the ‘NEW’ Viper team..they were so new they had only 4 players!
        So they just split up the Bulls and the 4 Viper players…and played 7s!!!
        And below is a desperate plea for players issued on the Weds of that week pleading for players!!


      • druzik says:

        Gannon, sorry but I cannot allow that email to be printed. It obviously is a private email, and leagaly not intended for distribution. Other forums have had this email posted and have promptly had it taken down. I have to do the same.

        I have seen this email in the past and if its true then its not a good look for the AMNRL particularly how they have been going off at the USARL… as I understand its one of the reasons they broke away. And as you say the Vipers team is most probably just an Aston B team… which in some respect is not such a bad thing, if there are players that want to play then no reason why you can’t set a team up for them to play.

        But if no players are there then there is no point trying to blow smoke. I have also heard that the AMNRL are claiming there is a “mole” in the “Vipers” team and that this person sent out an email telling players not to come on Saturday. I don’t know how true that is however.

  2. John Obstant says:

    With all of the progress Niu has made over the past ten years, it is unfortunate to see him take a huge step back and pick making profit for the STAR Group over progress for the sport in the USA.

    • druzik says:

      There is no denying that David has been a great in pushing the sport in the USA and all credit and respect to him. And there is no problem with him continuing to be involved in the sport. I think the issue is that in recent times things have got to the point that he tells no one anything and no one knows whats going on. Hence why the break away was done.

      Look we don’t know what, if any deal has been done with David and Star Group… and that is the issue I think, no one really knows whats going on.

      • Gannon says:

        AMNRL are claiming there is a “mole” in the “Vipers” team and that this person sent out an email telling players not to come on Saturday. I don’t know how true that is however.

        But I do know…definitively. There is no mole, be assured of that. That is something cultivated by the AMNRL. Take a look at the Vipers roster of players. I have spoken to several names on thast list who didnt even know they were on it!! Its typical of the smoke and mirrors that have surrounded this outfit for many many years.

      • druzik says:

        Indeed, I do find it hard to believe that there is a “mole”, but that is what I heard.

        Gannon can I ask your role in the USARL organisation?

      • Gannon says:

        Not with USARL….yet.
        But was with AMNRL since its inception and until 2009. Have witnessed first hand the bs, and unfair way people were, have been, and still are treated. Said nothing because it was the only game in town. Had a gutfull…also had some great times all over the world.
        MAybe im a slow learner…but what I always knew was any form of critisism or descent, and you were brushed pretty quick.

      • druzik says:

        Wow that is an interesting insight into all that. What do you make of the Avalanche re-joining the AMNRL with the promise of games this year?

      • Gannon says:

        Hope it works for them,they have been promised opposition from various parts of the country, its now a question of generating sufficient funds to finance the travel of those teams to Utah, and conversely for Utah to be able to recipricate that travel in order to play those same teams on thier home turf.

        Realistically how likely is that?

      • druzik says:

        Well, if what you say is true, not likely, and I know from some temas and people in the AMNRL they have said they wont do it as there are not enough players over there. One of the teams touted to go over is the Chicago team… but I really cannot see that happening either.

      • Gannon says:

        Try and put something even remotley critical on the AMNRL website. Usually it wont be there 24hrs later.

        Like for instance the Vipers…who exist in name only…are supposed to play tonight..because they couldnt get a team together on Saturday. Apparently the 4 players that turned up the week before saw the light.

        I heard on good authority they will be recruiting from several other teams just so they can say the game was actually played. We’ll see!

      • druzik says:

        I was worried that this might be the case, I heard that it was the weather that “delayed it”. What I am worried the most is that the Vipers will just end up being the Aston team turning up to play twive.

      • Gannon says:

        The new “expansion” team VIPERS lost 68 to 12 last night…they had 8 players from the Bulls playing for them.!!

        I wonder if any of the players on the Vipers “roster’ knew the game was on???

        What a joke

      • druzik says:

        I also have heard that the Bulls game on saturday only had 9 players turn up and so the Raiders had to give them 2 players to make up an 11s game.

        If this is true then it is truly worrying. As I say why try and fake 6 teams when its better to have 5 strong ones.

  3. png says:

    by the sounds of that press release I doubt the usa will qualify for the world cup at all jamaica would have to be favourites to make there debut worldcup now

  4. tax_dodger says:

    Well that’s dissapointing. I guess the ‘USA’ team will just be aussie ex-pats in the AMNRL and US football players without any RL experience.
    It seems the best way for RL to go forward in the USA, is for the other 4 teams in the AMNRL competition to quit and join the USARL, giving the RLIF no alternative but to switch control over. Sad that the players in the USARL are being affected most by this, gven they haven’t done anything wrong.

    • druzik says:

      Not sure it necessarily has to go in that direction. For all we know the USARL may after this year not exist either.

      All this premature talk is just that premature in killing of any of the sides. The proof will be in the pudding at seasons end.

      You are correct in that the players are the ones that suffer. However, the USARL has come out and said they will not stop any of their players from making tehmselves available for the Tomahawks and will not have any repercussions on them if they do. I also would not be surprised if the USARL is also able to get some internationals by years end. The IRLF is one possibility and in reality there is no reason why the Jamaicans and Canadians cannot go and play a USARL team either as a warm up to the world cup qualifiers.

    • Dawalt says:

      tax dodger needs to emphasize the word “guess” in his statement as thats all he is doing. The last USA team that played in 2010 was made up of plenty of ex-pats… No one really knows whats going on & I think everyone needs to relax the judgement hammer.The USARL have not completed a game yet and already people have disregarded what David has done over the last 10 years and speculating from every corner does nobody any good. It seems to me that everyone is jumping all over Davids good name & I think he deserves better.
      On the topic, I personally think it makes total sense to exclude USARL players as both leagues like it or not will be in competition for players, fans etc etc going forward. Both leagues will be doing their best to attract players & it seems to me that the AMNRL have a very big draw for someone who wants to represent their country.

      • druzik says:

        Very true. All good points.

      • Steve says:

        @Dawalt at the end of the day the USA Rugby League is a rugby league competition and the AMNRL/any other rugby league competition should be working together, not to fight with each other (the sport will be slowly killing itself if you think about it!). It is very hard to know what the situation is over there. The USARL have come out and said it was due to the Star Group, the AMNRL have told us nothing. The Ireland game will show the direction the AMNRL is going, it is good to see they have a website for the Donnybrook Cup and I believe they will also get a good turnout to the game and also the good news coming out of Hawaii. I just wish the 2 leagues will sort out there differences because at the end of the day it is rugby league we are promoting, if they are competing for sponsors, fans, players, etc.. it is against other sports such as rugby union, american football, basketball, soccer etc

      • deluded pom? says:

        Yes tax dodger IS guessing what caused the split because the only thing he can go on is coming out of the USARL. the silence from the AMNRL in any official outlet is deafening and leads people to make their own minds up based on one side of the story. Catcalling on social networking sites doesn’t help Niu’s cause either.

  5. Interested Observer says:

    druzik, you stated above “the USARL has come out and said they will not stop any of their players from making tehmselves available for the Tomahawks and will not have any repercussions on them if they do”.

    That may very well be what has been said by someone at the USARL but it is untrue. The new AMNRL eligibility rules clearly state that players must be aligned with an AMNRL team and can not be linked to any other RL competition in the USA (of which there is only one other). This means that USARL players can not make themselves available for selection. If they want to play for the USA they must cease all affiliation with their own USARL club and play for an AMNRL team. That in itself IS the repercussion. They can’t play in the USARL and as such, won’t be USARL players. The whole idea is a farce.

    Even Australia has selected a player in the Kangaroos who was not playing in the NRL, so I find it hard to believe that the Tomahawks can’t draw players from 2 domestic comps.

    I don’t think people should be too concerned about the USARL possibly not being around in 12 months as it may well be that the AMNRL are not around in 12 months. They have made no plans available about their proposed 2011 season, they don’t have enough teams to run a proper competition and Dawalt if they lose sole rights to select the USA team, they will have no drawcard at all.

    When expansion teams who were once aligned with David and the AMNRL start jumping ship to the USARL as they have and other teams are sitting on the fence to observe, alarm bells should be ringing.

    • druzik says:

      OK, I think I didn’t explain myself well. When I say no repercussions, the USARL said they wont hold any grudges to players who want to leave and play for the Tomahawks. Sure its a repercussion on the USARL, but id a player wants to play for the Tomahawks then he is free to go to the AMNRL.

  6. Dawalt says:

    I cant see him losing the rights with the IRL as he is well connected with many in the NRL who would back him over anyone else at this stage and for as long as there is an AMNRL.

    Did the ARL pick Super League players for the Kangaroos?

  7. Dawalt says:

    I know lol. If it did come down to it & he needs their vote I’m sure he’ll get it.

  8. Interested Observer says:

    Jamie Lyon was picked for the Kangaroos and was playing in the ESL and not even in Australia, so there is a precedent.

    David may be well connected but if you can not sustain a succussful domestic competition but your rivals can, then the hirachy will make changes at an international level.

    Yes, I know that the USARL haven’t played a match yet, but neither has the AMNRL for 2011 and the game against Ireland doesn’t count. It will be about who runs a good USA based league this year.

  9. Dawalt says:

    Jamie Lyon first played for Australia in 2001…the Super League was well over by then so I don’t get your point on that one.

    The AMNRL has been around for over 10 years, I think it will take more than one year for them to collapse, if they do fall…they sure look like they have taken a major step back though.

    I don’t understand why the Ireland game doesn’t count. It should count as its a game played under the AMNRL banner which brings me back to my point that they(the AMNRL)have a very big draw in being able to play international matches. International matches will get far more exposure than any weekend local fixture will ever get.

  10. Interested Observer says:

    Dawalt, to answer your points.

    I mentioned in a comment above:
    “Even Australia has selected a player in the Kangaroos who was not playing in the NRL, so I find it hard to believe that the Tomahawks can’t draw players from 2 domestic comps”.

    I am not sure what part of that comment doesn’t make sense to you? Lyon was not playing in the NRL a few years ago and was still picked for Australia (nothing to do with Superleague so I am not sure why you made a reference to that).

    My point was, if it is good enough for Australia that they can select a player for the national team from more then 1 competition, then the USA should be looking at players from both the AMNRL and the USARL. It is just outright spite that USARL players are not allowed in the team and is purely payback by the AMNRL for the USARL having had the nerve to break away and start their own competition.

    What I meant by saying the game against Ireland doesn’t count is because it will not show or prove that the AMNRL will have the best or even any domestic season in 2011. It is a one off match, not a regular season. I think you missed both of my points.

    Yes the AMNRL has been around for a decade and it was the USRL before that and the guys involved have done an awesome job to date. That doesn’t mean however that they are still the right people or best people for the job. Time will tell. I know all of them on both sides of the fence and it is a real shame thay are now pitted against one another but also very interesting to see how it is going to pan out.

  11. Dawalt says:

    Sorry, I should be clearer in my point. Back when the Australian comp split similar to whats happening here but on a way smaller level the ARL owned the Kangaroos similar to the AMNRL owning the Tomahawks.
    The ARL did not pick players for the Kangaroos that played for the rival Super League comp similar to whats happened here. So in your words “if its good enough for Australia” then its good enough for USA.
    David in the past has picked players from other comps & I’m sure he is doing the same now, excluding the USARL, his rival. Even if the split didn’t happen I’m sure he was going to choose a lot of Australian based players for the WC qualifiers like he has done in previous qualifying games.
    Its true the match is a “one off” but its an event on the international stage & one that the USARL cant put on. So no matter what way you spin it, the match can only be a positive for the AMNRL.
    I agree time will tell how this split will work out. I just hope Rugby League will prosper in the USA

  12. Interested Observer says:

    Dawalt I understand your point and it was a different one to mine but we clearly aren’t on the same page so I won’t bang on about it. Re the USARL not being able to run an International match, that’s way off being correct. Jax all but ran the whole show for the AC and are still paying bills for it, so I’d say those guys in the new comp would have no drama hosting and planning an International.

    • major says:

      is the interested observer D spinner of Jax ? or a friend how else would you know everything . you are so bias it isnt funny . I love reading this stuff. lol

    • Dawalt says:

      I don’t mean logistically. The AMNRL are the only sanctioned comp able to put on international matches in the USA. In other words, they can put on a match against Canada, Ireland or even the Australians,as they have in the past…The USARL can not.

      • Interested Observer says:

        The USARL will be hosting international teams in May when the Philly Fight have their 9’s event. The Fight are about to tour the UK to play and there is nothing stopping USARL teams playing international against sides.

        Don’t be surprised if the USARL select their own USA team to play against an international side in 2011. It does not need to be a sanctioned match or a game classified as an official international match in order for them to arrange a game against someone else.

  13. Interested Observer says:

    Sorry Major, I am not Spinner I am just an Interested Observer. As I have previously said, I know guys in both camps and have big wraps for Niuy and the AMNRL. But I am also sympethetic to the USARL guys and the issues they had concerns over. The info about Jax and the running of AC is no secret to those involved with RL in the USA. I am not biased either way Major, I just talk about what I know and give my objective opinions on different issues. At the end of the day I want to see RL succeed in the USA and don’t mind if that is thru the AMNRL or the USARL.

    I’d love to have seen matters resolved long before there was a split and personally I don’t think it was good for RL in the States. Obviously those involved with the split had their reasons for breaking away and it is a real shame that no one from the AMNRL has come out to set the record straight or discuss any real plans for their 2011 domestic season. I just find that frustrating and not very professional.

    Druzik, I trust that my email remains confidential, cheers.

    • major says:

      I see mate just wondering . I’m sure amnrl will come out with more stuff soon . Like I said it seems to be something every two weeks . Like a few days ago the AMNRL Tomahawk stuff .

      • major says:

        because your name is INTERESTING ObSERVER. I figured you just couldn’t be lol … fun stuff well in that case great to be chatting with someone from Australia .

  14. Interested Observer says:

    Thanks Major, I am glad you think I am an Interesting Observer, I like that.

    I just want to see RL continue to grow and succeed in the States. As I have already said, I know many of the guys on both sides of the fence and have a big interest for many reasons I can’t go into here, but I am very keen to see how this is all going to unfold.

    I do hope that Niuy and the AMNRL release some details and news about the planned 2011 season, some time soon. I know the Tomahawks stuff is important too but a lot of people are waiting to find out what is heppening, if anything, with the AMNRL domestic season, expansion teams and games etc.

    I always enjoy reading the opinions of others though, even if they differ to my own and I hope to see guys continue to have their say on this site.

  15. Loyalty says:

    Why should the AMNRL work their as*ses off for 14 season developing the game and just the usarl reap the benefits of the AMNRL’s labors? And no one should be disrespecting David Niu’s good name because number 1: there would be no amnrl nor usarl if it were not for him and 2. Those so called men who led the break away were trusted by Niu to help him develop the sport he trusted them and they stabbed him in the back.
    Has anyone thought the silence of the amnrl was due to some outside reasons? Hmmm like maybe a legal suit against another group? And the people “catcalling” on social networks have nothing to do with niu I don’t see him doing it and no one can control what people close to him say.
    Oh and I wouldn’t count on the usarl being around 12 months from now considering there’s information out there about many of the players leaving to come to the amnrl considering the break was made without even consulting the players and they’re not happy whatsoever
    What’s even better is that the teams being inaugurated into the usarl HAVE NO PLAYERS haha what a joke! Seattle Force for example is marketing their team who has ONE player. This is what they’ve built their new league on……lies and backstabbing

    Such a joke and people have the nerve to disrespect a good man who has dedicated his life to the development of the game and his ONLY mistake was trusting men like spinner and mcgough

  16. Chris Sanders says:

    So where’s this big tv deal in America?

  17. natdan says:

    I have just gone over all of these comments and am amazed at the reaction from Loyalty. He claims there are no players and the USARL is a joke.

    The weekends games in both leagues have just kicked off with the USARL completing 4 fixtures from 4 with 3 new sides all taking part with the NJ Titans side winning away from home in Boston (5 hour trip) and they had 17 men for selection with only 2 overseas players. Compare this to the AMNRL who had to cancel a game on day 1 of the season as the Delaware team (Aston Bulls reserves) could not field a side in the double header in the home town of the chief. The NEw York team had to travel down and play a rearranged game against the Wildcats and they have to play them again next week as these are the only teams with players.

    Lets just look at the record of David N, he has worked at building rugby league in the USA for 15 years is it? What has been achieved in this time? There is failure written all over it. No youth development, lies about TV deals and professional leagues, games being cancelled due to no players (after 15 years!!), no recognition outside of close friends.

    The USARL kicks off, no games cancelled, new teams winning, websites updated, no lies about teams that do not have players (unlike the AMNRL) and rugby league in the USA taking off after 1 season.

    The USARL achieved more in 1 weekend that the click has done for 15 years.

    Any business that did not take off after 15 years would look for new direction would it not?

  18. Gannon says:

    “An exciting example of how the AMNRL believe that EAGLETAG is an ideal introduction to the sport of rugby league in America is Dale Harwood, the AMNRL regional representative developing rugby league programs in the North Carolina area”

    The AMNRL rep in North Carolina developing, RL programs in NC.
    Let me know when you see an AMNRL team in NC. I mean an actual team …with players..that ACTUALLY play other teams.
    Not Eagletag. They dont need a rep out there…there is nothing to represent!
    Just another voyage on the AMNRL cruise ship the SS PlausibleDeniability.

    • druzik says:

      Yes I saw that … I have heard that this Eagletag is a bit of a myth … not sure what its meant to be though.

      Yeah … at the atlantic cup last year, I think I met Dale … he didnt seem to convinced then, not sure about now.

      I am worried about the Chicago team and the Utah team… They both seem to have gone very secretive about what they are doing.

  19. Blighty says:

    Oh just did!

  20. Blighty says:

    AMNRL East v West Challenge Cup:
    Saturday, September 3
    Atlantic Conference Champion v Pacific Conference Champion at TBA

    Watch for this one…it ll be a frggin miracle if this comes off.
    Either a plane load of hawaiians are going to travel to the mainland.

    Or the boys from here will travel to Hawaii…not a chance..who will pay..the AMNRL? Where will they get the funds…from the massive attendance from the War at the Shore..all those people knocking down the gates to watch 4 teams play??

    Just another fantasy that would do J K Rowlins proud.

    • Bongo says:

      You re right mate. What a pile of crap.
      Have you seen the latest on the AMNRL site…theres an ‘expansion’team in Atlanta…really…who are they playing??

      • 5-card says:

        Seriously… Ive read this whole thread and some pieces make no sense!!!!. Usarl player aint eligible in the same way as super league players wernt eligable for the kangaroos in australia in 1997. Jamie lyon was picked to play for australia while playing in England bacause it is allowed as he is still playing in an IRLF accepted league. The Amnrl are being unfaily punished for so many yeara of development. And to the “observer” the usarl can not organise and hold any sort of internationals against any IRLF sanctioned teams like jamacia or canada as they r not a accredited league and IRLF will have any uninsurable matches played against there national teams, and also who care about philly traveling to the UK to play- they r playing against local teams and thats there perogitive to do so (nothing international about it. Its just a good old fashioned ’70 footy tour) and “hosting internationals is a load of ….., playing (as i just said) “touring” police, marine, u/20’s and amatuer local footy teams from sydney and englad dont count as anything but wat they r! .. Money oppertunitys for the usarl and nothing more, there is nothing ‘INTERNATIONAL’ about it…. Grow up and get a clue!!

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