New Faces as Jamaica Rugby Names World Cup Training Squad

By L Bronson

Jamaica's rugby team
Jamaica's rugby team

Newcastle Knights and former Huddersfield teenage wing sensation Dom Young is one of a number of new faces selected for the initial Jamaica 2021 Rugby League World Cup training squad.

The Reggae Warriors will become the first nation from the Caribbean region to play in the final stages of the tournament later this year and will be based in Leeds.

Castleford’s experienced back Jordan Turner and Hull KR’s Luis Johnson also receive their first call up, as do Sheffield’s Izaac Farrell, who joins his brother Joel, Bradford’s Dee Foggin-Johnson and Lloyd White, who has previously played for Wales.

Young’s brother Alex, who is at Workington, is also included along with the 17 English-based players who helped the side qualify for the World Cup when winning the Americas Qualifiers in 2018 including Huddersfield’s Ashton Golding, who joins clubmate Michael Lawrence, who made his Jamaica debut against England Knights in 2019.

A total of 14 players from the Jamaica domestic league have also been chosen including Khamisi McKain and Renaldo Wade, who played in the 2018 qualifiers, and Liguanea Dragons’ Akeem Murray, who sparked Jamaica’s win over the USA in their clash in Kingston in 2019.

Jamaica will face Greece in a World Cup warm-up game at Castleford on October 5, which will double as Turner’s testimonial game, and Head Coach Romeo Monteith has announced a three-day camp at Weetwood Hall in Leeds for the English-based players in preparation from June 22-24. The Jamaican contingent is not yet allowed to travel because of COVID-19 regulations and the camp will be run by their UK-based lead Coach Jermaine Coleman, who will oversee on-field activities and will be supported by Leeds Rhinos assistant Chev Walker.

Monteith believes that the balance of the squad is right and competition for spots will be fierce. “We have named a strong train-on squad which gives us coverage in all positions,” he said from Kingston.

“Only 24 players can make the final cut and so I know everyone will want to put himself in the best position to be selected. For the first time we have adequate options in the halves and our forwards are looking to have depth. Our backs have always been our strength and we will again have plenty options there. It’s extremely disappointing that we weren’t allowed a mid-season international,” Monteith added.

The Rugby League World Cup is taking place October 23 to November 27 this autumn and is the pinnacle of international Rugby League, globally contested every four years. Rugby League World Cup 2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time.

The three tournaments will take place in 21 venues across 18 host towns and cities in England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.

World Cup 2021 will be the most visible Rugby League event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC.

SQUAD: Greg Johnson (Batley Bulldogs), Dee Foggin-Johnson, (Bradford Bulls), Jordan Turner (Castleford Tigers), Kevin Thomas (CMU Spartans), Kadeem Williams (Coventry Bears), Jon Magrin, Keenen Tomlinson, (Dewsbury Rams), Danny Bravo, Ross Peltier (Doncaster), Danny Thomas (Dewsbury Celtic), Andre McFarlane, Andrew Simpson, Fabian Turner, Jenson Morris, Kenneth Walker, Khamisi McKain, Marvin Thompson, Owen Linton, Renaldo Wade, Ryan Grant (Duhaney Park Red Sharks), James Woodburn-Hall (Halifax), Chevaughn Bailey (GC Lions), Ashton Golding, Michael Lawrence (Huddersfield Giants), Luis Johnson (Hull Kingston Rovers), Aaron Jones-Bishop, Alex Brown, Jordan Andrade, Jy-mel Coleman (Hunslet Hawks), Mo Agoro, Zach Braham (Keighley Cougars), Adrian Hall, Akeem Murray (Liguanea Dragons), Jacob Ogden (London Broncos), Abevia McDonald, Jerome Yates, Lamont Bryan, Maliki Lloyd-Jones, Omari Caro (London Skolars), Joe Brown (Newcastle), Dom Young (Newcastle Knights), Christopher Ball, Izaac Farrell, Joel Farrell (Sheffield Eagles), Nico Rizelli (St Helens), Lloyd White (Toulouse Olympique), Alex Young (Workington Town), Ben Jones-Bishop (York City Knights), Mason Caton-Brown, Tyronie Rowe (Unattached).

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