World Cup should be smaller to stop blowout scores? That’s rubbish

Ben Jones-Bishop Jamaica World Cup PA

Jamaica lead coach Roy Calvert believes the blowout scores in the World Cup should not diminish the value of having smaller nations in the tournament.

Jamaica made their debut at a Rugby League World Cup this year as they bowed out in the group stages.

The Reggae Warriors were on the end of some heavy defeats to New Zealand, Ireland and Lebanon.

However, coach Calvert believes it’s important the World Cup has 16 teams, as it gives the minnow nations a chance to grow and shine against the best of the best.

He said: “There are a lot of people who I’ve heard in the media speak about that the World Cup should only be played between five or six nations – that’s rubbish. Is it truly a world game (if that happens)?”

Calvert thinks Jamaica’s participation in tournaments like the World Cup is the only way to grow the game in other parts of the world.

“In Jamaica we are sort of isolated because we are the only country in the Caribbean that plays the sport,” Clavert added. “In order to get a game, we need to fly to the States or to Canada or all the way to Europe.

“Having internationals and having countries play against countries is the only way for the game to grow. You’ll have blowout scores, but tell me a sport that doesn’t? Tell me a sport that, in a World Cup, there aren’t lopsided scores? It’s all a part of the learning curve.”

Jamaica to host Americas Championship

The Reggae Warriors will next be in action in 2023 when they host the Americas Championship. It serves as the qualifying series for the 2025 World Cup in France.

Jamaica will host the USA, Canada and the winner of a play-off match between Brazil and Chile.

Calvert welcomed the prospect of hosting more international matches in Jamaica. 

“Come on down!” he said with a smile on his face. “We play all year round – sunny, beaches, mountains, rain’s good. Our surfaces are a bit hard but again, that’s our experience.”

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