Quinn Ngawati and Rhys Jacks named in Canada squad for Americas Championship

Toronto ace Quinn Ngawati and Rhys Jacks will lead Canada in the 2018 Americas Championship.

The Americas Championship will also act as a qualifier for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.

The University of North Florida, Jacksonville, will host two double-header rounds on November 13 and 17, and in the opening game the Wolverines meet Jamaica, with the winners facing either USA or Chile.

Benjamin Fleming’s Canada squad is drawn from Australia, New Zealand and the UK, together with 20 players from the domestic competitions in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario.

Jacks, who played in the 2017 World Cup qualifiers, is included, as is Toronto Wolfpack teenage sensation Ngawati.

Domestic players Joel Hulett and Wes Black have spent the past season with Ourimbah Wyoming Magpies in the Central Coast Division of the NSW Country Rugby League, whilst Wolverines veterans Danny Tupou and Christian ‘Miller time’ Miller are also selected.

Fans favourite Louis Robinson from League 1 club London Skolars is set to win his ninth cap, having made his debut against the Reggae Warriors in 2011.

“It has been amazing to see the development of rugby league in the country and the quality of players we are producing – the potential is limitless,” said Robinson.

“I can’t wait to meet up with one of the tightest knit groups I have played with and we will do our absolute best to take Canada to the World Cup for the first time.”

One of the squad’s potential young stars is Toronto City’s Michael Mastroianni, one of five chosen from the Saints.

“Playing for Canada is an opportunity I dreamt about as a kid,” he commented.

“I can’t think of a greater honour than representing my country in the game I love. Pulling on that red jersey will be the best feeling in the world.”

Canada 30-man train-on squad: Jason Hignell, Connor Hunter, Shaun McKenzie , Rick Schouten (Abbotsford Griffins), Ash Calvert (Berowra Wallabies), Christian Miller, Jason Park  (Brantford Broncos),  Josh Kelly (Calgary Cowboys),  Jack Couzens, Kimi Vunitiranga (Coastal Cougars), Brad Austin (Halswell Hornets), Louis Robinson (London Skolars), Wes Black, Joel Hulett (Ourimbah Magpies) Cam Grace, Danny Tupou (Scarborough Centurions), Rhys Jacks (Sunshine Coast Falcons), Eddie Bilborough, Antoine Blanc, Emil Borggren, Andrew Giguere, Michael Mastroianni (Toronto City Saints), Quinn Ngawati (Toronto Wolfpack), Jordan Drew (Townsville Blackhawks), Ruairi McGoff (Ulverston RL),  Sean McInroy (Unattached), Joey Murphy (Valley Warriors),  Scyler Dumas, Matthew Liszt, Andrew Porter (Vancouver Dragons).