New York Freedom co-owner and coach Mark Offerdahl will play for the club in the new North American Rugby League competition this year.
The 33-year-old prop played for Manly Sea Eagles at junior level before experiencing rugby league in Europe with Carcassonne, North Wales Crusaders, London Broncos and Sheffield Eagles.
Offerdahl was born in raised in Queensland but qualifies to play for the USA through his father, who served in the US Army. Offerdahl has won 11 caps for the USA and represented the States in two World Cups.
A statement from New York read: “With his 16 years of professional rugby league, Mark is a powerful player, mentally and physically, with a lot of experience to bring to the game, and pass on to the younger members of the squad.
“He enjoys coaching and mentorship and is eager to train a younger generation of players with his ultimate goal of producing a strong homegrown national team that will again ‘shock the world’ as his 2013 Tomahawks squad did.”
The NARL’s inaugural season gets underway in June, with New York being part of the East Coast Conference alongside Atlanta Rhinos, Boston Thirteens, Brooklyn Kings, Cleveland Rugby League and Washington Cavalry.