Jamaica name America’s 9s squad
Jamaica's Head Coach Romeo Monteith has named a 17-man squad to participate in the inaugural America's 9s Championship in Toronto on Saturday. Jamaica is expected to face Canada at 12:20 p.m., USA at 2:20 p.m. and Latin Heat (combined South American Team) at 4:15 p.m.
Several players located both in Jamaica and Canada will make their first international appearance. Domestic players making their debut for Jamaica include teenagers Kahil Green, Makhaya Anderson and Lawrence Drummond. The three have been some of Jamaica's top high school players for the past three years and have been rewarded with a call-up to the senior Nines team.
Making their debut also will be two army men in Jerome Laird and Roland Grey. Both have been impressive for the Jamaica Defence Force team in recent seasons and should add some firepower in the speed department to the squad.
Other local-based debutants are Daniel Morrison and Chawn Henry. Both were former standout youth players at Calabar High and Edith Dalton High, they have transitioned well to the senior club competitions and will feature prominently in the halves.
Mohenjo Thompson and Uriah Martin are the two players based in Canada who will don the Reggae Warriors colours for the first time. Thompson has plenty of experience as he is one of the few remaining players who played in the first ever rugby league club competition on the island in 2005.
The familiar faces in the squad are Adrian Hall, Greg Hall, Antonio Baker, Demone McDougal, Orlando Jones, Nicholas Wright, Chevaughn Bailey and Tyronie Rowe. The team is also travelling with a match official in Kemoy Whyte, who is expected to take the middle in some of the tournament's games. In addition, Jamaica will look to put together a female representative team of players based in Canada to face Canada and Ontario Select teams in exhibition matches.
Monteith says blooding the next set of domestic stars is a key focus of this campaign.
"The team is looking forward to a good tournament," he said. "We have deliberately gone out for some younger players, as we have begun the revitalisation of our programme, the next generation of Jamaica rugby league stars is now, so young players such as Anderson, Drummond and Green are our future. Our veterans will provide plenty of guidance and we are looking forward to a good tournament. We are also excited by the potential to field a female representative team in the tournament. It's the ambition of all the nations involved to establish full international female team in the next few months."