Jamaica head coach Romeo Monteith is confident that homegrown half-backs can steer his team to success in their forthcoming Rugby League World Cup 2017 (RLWC 2017) qualifiers against Canada and the United States.
Despite having some UK-based heritage players to call upon, the personnel available to Monteith means that his pivots must come from the island itself.
The coach believes that local lads Marvin Thompson and Ryan Grant are the men to take the Jamaican team up the park and create chances to score points.
“We have absolute faith in our sons of the soil,” said Monteith.
“Both Marvin and Ryan have been a steady part of the national setup and we see it as vital to our development to reward players with their type of commitment and consistency.
“Both are natural leaders and it is important that local players like them are given opportunities to play their natural positions, regardless of the opposition we are facing or the composition of our team.
“We are developing a brand of rugby league that is distinctly the Jamaican way, there is a lot of athleticism and individual skills and we are trying to increase coaching knowledge and game sense at all levels so that the standard of the sport will continue to improve.
“Our player pool is constantly increasing and if rugby league continues its rapid rise internationally and provides a pathway for countries such as Jamaica to play more matches and in major tournaments, the sport will only get bigger and bigger.
“Guys such as Marvin and Ryan can mature into true sporting icons in the Jamaican sporting landscape and become heroes to the next generation of Jamaican rugby league players.
“Jamaica has a strong core of English-born eligible players, however, many of them are wingers and centres, there is a real scarcity in the halves and this is even further reason to nurture and give opportunities to those produced domestically.
“We have been focused over the past few years to improve our locals to ensure that at all times we have players to compete effectively.”