The United States Association of Rugby League (USARL) recently announced that all the representative teams will carry the same moniker, the Hawks. The decision is very timely as the amount of activity is about to grow.
This coming autumn will be significant for the USA men’s team as they face two huge challenges. On October 18/19 they travel to the Bankwest Stadium in Parramatta, Australia to face the best teams in the world in the RLIF Downer World Cup 9’s. Then in November, in Jacksonville, they face the Cook Islands in the final qualifying game for the RLIF World Cup 2021.
Steve Williams, an Executive Director on the USARL board feels that this is a great piece of timing, saying;
“The opportunity for USA Hawks to compete at the RLIF World Cup 9s has been helpful in recruiting domestic and heritage players for the upcoming qualifier in Jacksonville, Florida on November 16.
“For the World Cup 9s in Sydney this October the USA will be bringing a number of speedsters that will get their chance to match up against the world's best”
To add to the growing international optimism in the USARL, the USA Hawks wheelchair rugby league team has been invited to participate in the RLIF World Cup 2021. After the announcement, RLWC2021 chief executive officer, Jon Dutton spoke about the opportunity that participation presents for the sport in the USA and also for the tournament
“I’m delighted that there will be a USA wheelchair side in the tournament in two years’ time representing North America. There is a really strong burgeoning rugby league fanbase in the US and it’s fantastic to see that the passion for the game is cross-discipline. I can’t wait for them to showcase the sport on English soil and help to inspire the next generation.”
Whilst the USA Hawks women’s team were disappointed to miss out on selection for the world cup, they are driven to ensure that they grow the sport in the USA and make sure that they qualify for the 2025 world cup without any questions.
Inaugural Hawks women's head coach Garen Casey, who represented Parramatta, Penrith, Wakefield and Salford during a six-year top-flight career, said: "I'm excited to get started. This is the sport I played professionally for many years and being back involved has just reignited my passion for success.
“I'll be putting my best efforts into building a successful Hawks squad and we will be right there in support and development of the wheelchair and men's teams as we all work tirelessly to advance this great sport into both the US and international scene. Exciting times ahead for all.”
The RLIF Downer World Cup 9s kicks off on Friday October 18th. USA Hawks are in a huge pool with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
Tickets are available from https://tickets.nrl.com/worldcup-9s-sydney