Canada name train-on squad for RLWC 2017 qualifiers

Canada have thrown the net over a wide geographical area to pick players for their squad for the Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC 2017) qualifiers against Jamaica and the USA.

Players have been named who ply their trade in Australia, the UK, British Columbia and Ontario.

The Wolverines face Jamaica in Deland, Florida, USA on December 8, before playing the USA four days later in Jacksonville, Florida.

Assistant coach Andy Blackburn revealed that picking players from different continents was always going to present some difficulties.

The sheer amount of emerging talent in Canada makes rugby league’ future in the country bright, though.

“The selection process for the qualifiers has been fair but tough as Canada’s geography makes it difficult to view all players equally, plus we also have several players currently with overseas clubs in Australia and England,” he said.

“However, with lots of video footage available of recent nationwide representative games and with rep training sessions ongoing in both Vancouver and Toronto, we feel we have done the best possible job to select the strongest squad to give us the best chance to qualify and make history.

“There is also plenty of emerging young talent knocking on the door for Canada selection.

“We have also been able to speed up the development of our younger players which is highlighted with the performances by the Young Wolverines in last year’s Commonwealth Championship 9’s in Glasgow and our U20 and U23 teams against the England Young Lions and NSW Universities touring sides this year, all of which increases the competition for places in the senior side.”

CANADA TRAIN-ON SQUAD

Trent Bourke (Abbotsford Griffins), Chad Bain (Bradford Dudley Hill RLFC),  Billy Gemmell,  Christian Miller, Steve Piatek (Brantford Broncos), Denny McCarthy (Burlington Centaurs), Alex Boyd, Austin Karius (Capilano Cougars), Tom Dempsey (Easts Tigers), Steve Bouchard (Jamberoo Superoos), Louis Robinson (London Skolars), Rhys Jacks (South Logan Magpies), Ryley Jacks (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Jamie Kelly (Surrey Beavers), Tom Clancy, Jonathan Cregg,  Michael Cregg, Robin Legault, Jamie Lester,  Matt Wyles (Toronto Centurions), Eddie Bilborough, Antoine Blanc, Enoch Wamalwa  (Toronto City Saints), Daniel Blasco-Morris,  Rick Schouten, Adam Timler (Valley Warriors)

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