JIS News

Jamaica’s National Rugby League team will end a two-week tour of England, during which they scored their first international win against professionals, on Monday.
The team beat the Hull team in the prestigious Carnegie Floodlit Nines tournament, the most competitive Nines competition in the Northern Hemisphere. The Jamaican team did not win the tournament, but beating Hull, the defending champion, was a major boost for them.
National coach, Dean Thomas, told JIS news that the tour of England, including their participation in the tournament, was part of the team’s preparation for the Rugby League World Cup qualifying competition in 2011.
“Each year we are improving, and it gives the Jamaican players international experience, playing with and against professionals in the super league in England,” Mr. Thomas said.
The team also played against the Great Britain Community Lions, on August 22. Ten Jamaican-based players teamed up with seven UK-based players for the match at the South Leeds Stadium. The Great Britain Community Lions are an officially recognised squad representing the Amateur Rugby League in Great Britain.
Jamaica’s team captain, Andre Reid, said that the UK visit was a good experience for the team. He added that Rugby League was a fast growing sport in Jamaica and there were now five Rugby League clubs in the Corporate Area’s first division, three in St. Catherine and three University teams, in addition to school teams.
The Jamaicans paid a courtesy call on Jamaica’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Anthony Johnson, on Friday (August 27).
The High Commissioner congratulated them on their progress, and confirmed the Government’s committed to sports development. He said he had no doubt that Jamaica would continue to do well in the sport.
The Jamaica Rugby League Association was established in July of 2004, and the inaugural season kicked off in 2005. The League is support by volunteers and companies, including Global Insurance and Virgin Atlantic, in addition to support from Bradford College and the University of Bradford in England.

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