Bulldogs and Rams represented in Jamaica's squad for Americas RL Championships
Batley and Dewsbury look set to be well represented at next month's Americas Rugby League Championships with five players selected in the Jamaica train-on squad.
Bulldogs trio Wayne Reittie, Joel Farrell and Keenan Tomlinson have been picked in the 29-man squad, along with Dewsbury Celtic’s Danny Thomas and Jode Sheriffe of Dewsbury Rams.
Winger Alex Brown, who played 13 games for the Rams in 2017 but is now unattached, will also be hoping to make the final cut.
The Reggae Warriors face Canada in their opening Americas Championship clash to be played at the University of North Florida, Jacksonville, on November 13.
If Jamaica secure victory, they will face the winners of the USA v Chile on November 17, with the winners of that game qualifying for the 2021 World Cup in England.
Reittie has won three caps for Jamaica and notched the 250th game of his career during Batley’s Championship victory over Leigh Centurions last month.
The flying winger scored 10 tries in 15 appearances for Batley in 2018, but missed much of the campaign having dislocated his shoulder when scoring a spectacular try against Toronto Wolfack.
Farrell started 17 games and made another three appearances as substitute during the season, while Tomlinson played 14 times and scored four tries during his debut campaign and will remain with the Mount Pleasant club in 2019.
Sheriffe played 25 games for the Rams in 2018 is also picked in a very strong Jamaican 29-man selection, which includes Super League’s Ben Jones-Bishop — who is chosen alongside his brother Aaron — and Ashton Golding, who are both in line for their debuts, and paying to be part of a push for first Caribbean representation in the World Cup.
JRLA director of rugby, Romeo Monteith, believes the team will compete well, saying: “It’s our third World Cup Qualifiers campaign and we are assembling a competitive squad.
“We have a strong coaching staff behind them and I believe we can match our opponents in all aspects of the game.
“Our aim is to bring increased attention to our abilities as a rising rugby league nation and, should we qualify, it will be a massive boost for the sport on the island. Every player has gone into his pocket to contribute to costs, it’s the only way it has been possible.”
Former Dewsbury head coach Glenn Morrison, who oversaw Jamaica’s 16-16 draw with Wales in 2016, will also still be involved in the team’s preparations.
Jamaica’s 29-man train on squad: Joel Farrell, Wayne Reittie, Keenen Tomlinson (Batley Bulldogs), Jonathan Magrin, Ross Peltier (Bradford Bulls), Daniel Thomas (Dewsbury Celtic), Jode Sheriffe (Dewsbury Rams), Aaron Jones-Bishop (Doncaster), Nathan Campbell, Andrae McFarlane, Khamisi McMain, Marvin Thompson, Renaldo Wade (Duhaney Park), Owen Linton (Excelsior College) Antonio Baker, Chevaughn Bailey, Kareem Harris (GC Foster), James Woodburn-Hall (Halifax), Ethon Dwyer (Jamaica Defence Force), Ashton Golding (Leeds Rhinos), Jacob Ogden (London Broncos), Lamont Bryan, Omari Caro, Jy-Mel Coleman (London Skolars), Adrian Hall (Liguanea Dragons), Joseph Brown, Mo Agoro (Newcastle), Ben Jones-Bishop (Wakefield), Alex Brown (Unattached).