Four newcomers - Bradley Ho, Kieran Rush, AJ Wallace and Alex Young - are included in Jamaica’s 24-man squad, as the Reggae Warriors prepare to make their debut in the Rugby League World Cup.
Fourteen of those selected were part of the squad that qualified for the tournament when winning the 2018 Americas Championship, Jamaica thereby becoming the first-ever Caribbean nation to be included in the competition proper.
The squad is headlined by Betfred Super League stars Michael Lawrence and Ashton Golding from Huddersfield Giants.
Six players from the domestic game are included, all from Duhaney Park Red Sharks who recently won the National Club Championship Grand Final for the fourteenth time in 16 seasons, along with former Excelsior Community College speedster Abevia McDonald, who now plays at London Skolars.
Also selected are brothers Aaron and Ben Jones-Bishop, the former becoming Cornwall RLFC’s first international representative.
Jamaica head coach, Romeo Monteith, said: “We are excited to mix it with the best players in the world and everyone is ready to give their all. We encourage all Jamaicans at home and abroad to rally behind this team and join us on what should be a terrific as well as historic journey.”
The Reggae Warriors are drawn in Group C and will face Ireland at Headingley, Leeds (October 16), 2008 World Cup winners New Zealand at the MKM Stadium, Hull (October 22) and Lebanon at Leigh Sports Village (October 30).
Two teams from each group will not only advance to the quarter finals but will also book their ticket to the 2025 Rugby League World Cup to be staged in France.
The local contingent will depart the island on Saturday 1 October and, in a warm-up match, the Jamaicans will face Cumbria on October 7 in Workington.
JAMAICA 24-MAN SQUAD
Greg Johnson (Batley Bulldogs), AJ Wallace (Bradford Bulls), Aaron Jones-Bishop (Cornwall RLFC), Ross Peltier, Keenen Tomlinson (Dewsbury Rams) Chevaughn Bailey, Khamisi Mckain, Andrew Simpson, Marvin Thompson, Renaldo Wade (Duhaney Park Red Sharks), James Woodburn-Hall (Halifax Panthers) Ashton Golding, Michael Lawrence, Kieran Rush (Huddersfield Giants), Mo Agoro, Bradley Ho (Keighley Cougars), Abevia McDonald (London Skolars) Joel Farrell, Ben Jones-Bishop (Sheffield Eagles) Joe Brown, Alex Young(Workington Town) Jacob Ogden (York City Knights), Jordan Andrade, Jy-Mel Coleman (Unattached)
Image: Matthew Merrick