Latin Heat to face Liberty Cup American battle


The Latin Heat, the Australian-based club for players of Latin American heritage, is set to challenge a combined USA and Canada team for the Liberty Cup in Australia.

The game will take place on September 30 at St Marys Leagues Stadium, kick off 6.30pm local time.

The combined North American team will consist of the 12 domestic American and Canadian players currently playing in Australia, supplemented by Australia-based heritage players.

The twelve athletes who are currently playing for teams across New South Wales and Queensland in Australia are:

Nick Barthel (Jamberoo Superoos and Valley Warriors)
Steve Bouchard (Jamberoo Superoos and Valley Warriors)
Ryan Burroughs (Wentworthville Magpies & Northern Virginia Eagles)
Roderigus Ceasar (Narooma Devils and Central Florida Warriors)
Scyler Dumas (Beenleigh Pride and Vancouver Dragons)
Colbey Franko (Jamberoo Superoos and North Edmonton)
Curtis Goddard (Yass Magpies and Boston 13s)
Connor Hunter (Jamberoo Superoos and Abbotsford Griffins)
Bray Melnychuk (Jamberoo Superoos and South Edmonton)
Hashem Mirlohi (Jamberoo Superoos and Valley Warriors)
Terrance Williams (Yass Magpies and Atlanta Rhinos)
Sterling Wynn (Narooma Devils and Central Florida Warriors)

Penrith Panthers junior coach Nathan Mairleitner has helped drive the event forward, and he sees it as a big chance to develop more talent from both North and South America.

“The fact that we (the Panthers Junior League) have the biggest nursery of rugby league players in the world, not only makes the Liberty Cup and exciting event to be a part of, it’s a huge reward for our community to have it held in our own backyard,” he said.

“It is another great opportunity for the St Marys Junior League club to show why they are great at what they do, to have the management team and facility they offer to host this event is priceless.”

Latin Heat President Robert Burgin feels that the spirit of the contest symbolises the spirit of the Americas.

“Liberty is a concept important across the Americas, and lives have been sacrificed in both the north and south to preserve it across centuries,” he said.

“The support of freedom in all its forms is central to what we do at Latin Heat, including the freedom to enjoy whatever sport you like and play in a way that allows natural exuberance.”

The North America side will be coached by Canada Wolverines national coach Aaron Zimmerle, who has also coached Tweed Heads Seagulls and the Queensland Residents team.

Canada Rugby League Association (CRLA) president Paul O’Keefe believes the game is an ideal showcase for both South and North American talent.

“This was another idea that the CRLA fully support and have worked very hard to make it become a reality, just like the newly announced Rugby League America’s Cup,” he said.

“This event is the perfect way to attract attention to all the fine young athletes being produced and how much rugby league is growing in the Americas region.

“They now will have the opportunity to showcase their newly learnt skills in front of our World Cup Qualifiers Coach Aaron Zimmerle,”