CRL on search for Canadian eligibility

From Jamie Lester

Canada Rugby League would like to hear from any overseas rugby league players that are Canadian born or have parents or grandparents that are Canadian born. After just one year of existence, the Canada Wolverines national team has its first win under its belt and are looking towards future success by unearthing more overseas talent with Canadian eligibility.

In last year’s Atlantic Cup, Canada used Ben White and Marc Hanke from the AMNRL as their sole non domestic players to help in their pursuit of international success. This year, Canada witnessed exactly what kind of talent can be found abroad with 19 year old Harlequins RL player Louis Robinson leading the charge in the Wolverine’s recent victory against Jamaica. The most notable overseas player with Canadian heritage is former Wakefield star and current Keighley player/coach Jason Demetriou. Demetriou previously played for Canada in the 2000 Emerging Nations World Cup, and is said to be interested to don the Wolverines jersey for the first time. CRL Chairman Eric Perez explained “We have spoken to Jason about his desire to play for the Wolverines, and I am confident that we will see him on Canadian soil sometime in the near future”.

Wolverine’s coach Jamie Lester was coy about the potential of obtaining players from overseas commenting “We did alright with only one player from outside of our domestic comp didn’t we? Of course in the future when we are planning for the 2017 World Cup we are going to need players with some professional experience, however, for now my main focus is to increase the standard of rugby league from within Canada. Lester continues “Sure we would love to hear from any players with Canadian eligibility to get them in our system, but I would like to think that Canada will always have a team with at least fifty percent of our players domestically based”.

If you are playing rugby league outside of Canada and have Canadian eligibility please contact with a brief profile of your experience.

Daniel Andruczyk’s email:
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15 Responses to “CRL on search for Canadian eligibility”

  1. tax_dodger says:

    Bit of a disappointing headline to say the least. As long as they don’t go too over-board with heritage players I suppose, but I don’t think that amateur nations should be picking overseas players, when the sport is still developing in the country. However it seems to get to the top in RL, you must have as many heritage players as possible.
    Serbia would be a good example of this. Despite having better infrastructure than the likes of Italy and Ireland, they will always struggle against teams with heritage players.

    • druzik says:

      Look all the countries around them are doing it, they need some.

      The important thing is that the players they select will stick with Canada and not swap and change between other nations.

  2. deluded pom? says:

    Unfortunately it’s a dog eat dog world td. Even England have gone down this path with first Widdop and the recent overtures to Jack Reed. I wouldn’t envisage there being many players out there with Canadian heritage. It’s a country people emigrate to not one that people emigrate from.

  3. Interested Observer says:

    They need to have a look at Mike Castle, a young English guy who has been playing for the Coffs Harbour Axemen the past few yrs in northern NSW and was playing for a London Bronco’s feeder time prior to that. His grandparents are Canadian and he is a very talented young player. Maybe you could pass his name on Druzik to Jamie.

  4. Cheyne Maher says:

    It is an interesting debate (the use of heritage players in very new RL nations).

    I can see both arguments, but i agree totally if they are going to get to a stage where they can be reasonably competitive on a world stage they will need to call on the best available players. All nations do it in all sports.

    Perhaps though there could be a separate tournament for home grown players, sort of a domestic world cup, one that wouldn’t include the likes of Aus, NZ etc or perhaps any of the automatic qualifiers of the proper world cup. This could be held either in the middle of the four year cycle or even be played at the same time as the main WC so as it doesnt interrupt the (eventually) consistent four year cycle of qualifying tournaments.

    This would provide a bit of incentive for the likes of Serbia who may miss out on a WC spot, but have got a strong RL infrastructure in place.

    Just some food for thought

  5. Cheyne Maher says:

    I was thinking that too, so that there is some incentive for nations to really ddevelop their domestic infrastructures.

    But if these championships somehow count towards qualification of higher tournies do you potentially weaken them.

    For eg a domestic based Ireland side could quite posssibly be beaten by say Serbia and therefore miss out on a WC or Six nations etc at Serbias expense.

    However Irelands strongest possible side with heritage players would prove a lot more competitive than Serbias best team ( i would think) in these higher tournies against the likes of Aus NZ etc.

    I am a bit torn ….it provides incentives to work on domestic structures but could weaken the pinnacle events.

    I would probably lean towards it being a seperate event, maybe even in a wc year, just for those sides that miss out on the main wc perhaps??

    • druzik says:

      I don’t mind teams trying to get their best teams out onto the park, sometimes they can call upon heritage players sometimes they can’t… it happens in all sports.

      The important things is that what ever players are used, they are dedicated to that country and not swap and change as they please, but for that to happen there needs to be incentive and so there need to be prestigious tournaments around that all countries can look forward to playing… and thus providing the incentive.

      • Cheyne Maher says:

        Good point Dan, as you say i am totally fine with countries best teams being full of ex pats provided they feel passionate about it – it happens in every sport and strengthens their chances in bigger tournaments, which increases their exposure. As you say the key is getting the incentive there for players to pledge their allegiance to these countries, through more regular competition etc. Mmm this has me thinking….but i should get back to work lol. Talk soon Dan

      • druzik says:

        No worries … its good to see Louis Robinson is flying out for the Colonial Cup again from London!

  6. Chris Sanders says:

    The Canada v Jamaica game was a good game of footie and us RL folk are proud of it and the effort that both teams put into the game.A wonderful ground,a good colourful crowd and a great atmosphere.It will go down in the history books!

  7. Chris Sanders says:

    It was a brillant game on internet tv(Steve Mascord) in about 100 degree heat and a lot better than the crap I have been watching from the Fox Memorial on Maori TV which is a borefeast and the people here running the game couldn’t care a toss.The standard of the football in the local Fox Memorial is a Fycking disgrace and the coaching leaves a lot to be desired and we need Grahame West to sort it out and to coach the coaches when he returns to NZ in December.And the Canadian commentator put our 2 top commentators(Dale Husband and Steve McIvor) to shame cas he didn’t talk crap like they always do.
    Both Canada and Jamaica played with great intelligence, there was a great crowd in attendance and as I have already mentioned above the commentary was absolutely brillant and he knew what he was taliking about and made the game sound interesting.
    I am very,very happy in what I saw and the game was worthy of TV unlike the carbage we get on Maori TV.

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