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Jamaica

Jamaica
Country Name: Jamaica
Nicknames: The Reggae Warriors
Colours: Green, Yellow and Black
Inaugurated: 2004
First WC Appearance: 2021
No. Of RLWC Titles: 0
Governing Body: Jamaica Rugby League Association
Region: Americas

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The Jamaican Rugby League team have made giants strides forward since been established in 2009, when they debuted at the Atlantic Cup.

That came just 4 years after the establishment of the sport’s governing body on the Island and just 4 years after the establishment of the countries domestic competition.

It is perhaps no surprise therefore that there continuing development led to the Reggae Warriors reaching their first World Cup just around 10 year an after that first match and with Jamaica becoming a regional powerhouse in a region that is increasingly expanding its domestic scene and you have a country set for a great future.

Jamaica Rugby League

The Jamaican national team feature a good mix of locally-born domestic players who are based in the country and who play in the Jamaican competition and heritage players who in the main tend to be British based and play in the Super League, Championship, League 1 and from time to the time, the NRL.

Jamaica National Rugby League Team

As you would likely expect, Jamaica have played the majority of their matches against Canada and the United States, helped by featuring in the Americas Rugby League Championship but they have also faced a number of European countries including a much sort after match up against the England Knights in 2019.

Colours and Kit

The Jamaican playing strip is representative of the Jamaican flag and whilst it changes for time to time, it always features the green, black, and yellow that are so famously associated with Jamaica.

Honours

As one of the newest Rugby League playing nations, it is no surprise that Jamaica have only had limited success in terms of titles and trophies, especially on the world stage, but they have already enjoyed regional success by winning the 2018 Americas Rugby League Championship.

Their progression in that event just highlights the speed of their rise through the rankings world Rugby League as in their first appearance in 2016 they finished in last place, in 2017 they finished in second and then they finished first in 2018.

Notable Players

Due to Jamaica playing the majority of their matches in lower level events and across the Pond either at home or in the USA or Canada, it is perhaps not too surprising that they have not been able to attract big stars to play for them under the heritage rule but that has been to their benefit as they have been able to develop their own stars in their local competitions and in the US system.

Amongst the local players to break out and make a name for themselves on the international stage have included Tyronie Rowe, Andre Reid, Damon Gayle, Jermaine Pinnock, Romaen Campbell, Robert Rodney, Andrew Fong, Claude Yen, Carlyle Burger and Jahdeek Clarke.

As they have started to move up through the rankings and play more competitive matches against higher ranked nations, the Jamaican national team have managed to attract more and more full time professionals from across the globe to add to their domestic players and to make them even more competitive.

Amongst the more famous names to represent Jamaica down the years have included Ritchie Barnett, Alex Brown, Lamont Bryan, Omari Caro, Ashton Golding, Greg Johnson, Waine Pryce, Paul White, Ben Jones-Bishop and Michael Lawrence.

History

In July 2004, the Jamaican Rugby League Association came into existence and a domestic competition was established for the following year, originally featuring 4 teams (Duhaney Park Sharks, Vauxhall Vultures, Jamaican Defence Force, and the Olympics Angles).

A collegiate competition was added soon after and these teams became the early backbone of the Jamaican national side and helped them to step up to full internationals in 2009 when they headed north to the USA to take on the United States in Jacksonville and although they lost that match 37-22, they had shown that they could match up to the best in the region.

In 2011, they tried their hand at qualifying for the Rugby league World Cup for the first time and whilst they did defeat South Africa, they lost out to the USA Hawks and failed to qualify.

In 2015, they tried again but once more came up short in the qualification process but in 2018, they entered the Americas Rugby League Championships, which was doubling as the qualification process for the 2021 RLWC and after a big win over Canada, they pulled off a relatively shock win when they headed to the USA and defeated their hosts 16-10 to not only pick up their first win against the States but to also qualify for their first ever Ruby League World Cup.

As part of their build up to that event, they took on the England Knights in Leeds which came just a couple of years after playing France as they continued to play at a higher and higher level.

With Jamaica having a great backbone of domestic players who are getting more and more opportunities to improve and impress in North America mixed with a healthy number of heritage players and things are looking good for Reggae Warriors and hopefully they can build upon their first appearance on the global stage to keep their upward progression going.

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