Meet the Leeds Rhinos stars representing Jamaica in The Bahamas

Drew Darbyshire
Leeds Rhinos stars Elychia Watson and Sophie Robinson are living the dream by proudly representing their Jamaican heritage playing Rugby 7s in The Bahamas.

Elychia Watson (left) and Sophie Robinson (right) in The Bahamas representing Jamaica

Leeds Rhinos stars Elychia Watson and Sophie Robinson are living the dream by proudly representing Jamaica playing Rugby 7s in The Bahamas.

Watson, 24, and Robinson, 25, play for Leeds Rhinos in the Women’s Super League but received call-ups to the Jamaica national team to play in the Rugby Americas North 7s last month.

Both girls, who were born and raised in Yorkshire to Jamaican fathers and English mothers, were made up to represent their Jamaican roots on the big stage in The Bahamas.

Speaking to Love Rugby League about her call-up, Watson said: “When I started playing rugby it was my dream to play for Jamaica as well as England.

“I am really proud to play for Jamaica and I think I’ve done my dad proud by representing Jamaica.

“My dad was shocked. He didn’t even know Jamaica had a rugby team because obviously they are known for athletics and things like that.

“My dad is my best friend so I’m always with him. I’m really in touch with my Jamaican culture and it was nice to represent my family.”

Sophie Robinson proud to represent her Jamaican heritage

Elychia Watson and Sophie Robinson Jamaica
Elychia Watson (left) and Sophie Robinson (right) are presented with their first Jamaica caps

Watson and Robinson aren’t the first rugby league players to go out and represent Jamaica in 7s. York City Knights star Savannah Andrade starred for the Lady Crocs in Jamaica last year.

Robinson, a Grand Final and Challenge Cup winner with the Rhinos, says it is a dream come true to pull on the black, gold and green jersey of Jamaica.

She told Love Rugby League: “It is always something I’ve wanted to do. In league we don’t have a Jamaica women’s team yet so to get the call-up for this tournament meant everything.

“All my family were really proud that I got to represent my heritage. They were shocked! I didn’t even think my dad thought it was a possibility. He was really proud that I got to go out there.

“It is something that I want to continue to pursue because there are a lot of opportunities to play around the world.”

Jamaica women’s rugby league team the next aim

Sophie Robinson Jamaica
Robinson with the Lady Crocs mascot!

She added: “I think the next goal is trying to get a Jamaican league team for the women.

The men have done it and I think the next step is to get a women’s Jamaican team. I think we would compete (with other nations) which would be good.

“I reckon there are a few girls in the Super League and Championship (with Jamaican heritage). The girls who we went on tour with play league in Jamaica as well.

“There are always opportunities to link up with girls living on the island. Hopefully we can work towards that and have a team in the next World Cup.”

The Jamaica 7s team are currently on the lookout for sponsors. If interested, contact Hughton Campbell for more details.

PODCAST: Kallum Watkins on playing in the pack, time in NRL & World Cup ambitions