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, five are from Duhaney Park Red Sharks that recently won the National Club Championship Grand Final for the eighth 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.

“We are excited to mix it with the best players in the world and everyone is ready to give their all. We encourage everyone to get behind this team and join us on what should be a terrific as well as historic journey,” said head coach Romeo Monteith.

“We first made our international debut in 2009, and to have qualified for a World Cup less than 10 years later, speaks to our commitment and tenacity.

“We are in a very tough group, but our aim is to give a good account of ourselves. The World Cup is the pinnacle of the game, and we hope this will be the first of many appearances.”

The Reggae Warriors are drawn in Group C and will face Ireland at Headingley, Leeds (October 16), 2008 World Cup winner 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), Bradley Ho, Mo Agoro, (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).

Duhaney Park Red Sharks won their sixth consecutive National Club Championship (NCC) Grand Finals, and eighth overall, following a pulsating 40-18 win over Washington Blvd. Bulls on Saturday at the UWI Mona Bowl.

The Bulls jumped to a 6-0 lead early but the Red Sharks responded well and held a narrow 16-12 lead at halftime.

In the second half, the Red Sharks took control of the game, running in five tries whilst the Bulls could only muster one additional score.

Red Sharks were led by fullback Javian Bryan with eight points from four goals, Kenneth Walker and Jenson Morris each scored two tries whilst Miguel Facey, Joseph Shae, Chevaughn Bailey (MVP) and Andrew Simpson each scored a try. 

For the Bulls, Lawrence Drummond led with six points from three goals and Shamoy Stewart, Oshane Edie and Daniel Morrison scored a try apiece.

“We were a bit scrappy, we had too many knock-ons, but to score 40 points we had to chance our arm a bit. In the first half, we moved from what works for us which is using three to four tackles to lay a platform, instead, we were going one in and looking to play off the second tackle,” said winning coach Roy Calvert.

“In the second half we went back to basics and scored 24 points. Hats off to the Bulls, they gave it to us, but my boys stood up and pulled it off and I am very proud of the team.”

Meanwhile, Bulls’ coach Derone Davis believed fatigue was a key factor in the loss.

 “It was unbelievable being our first grand finals. We started well, we dominated the middle in the first 40 minutes, which was our game plan,” he said.

“Hakeem, Makaya and Kyle were especially damaging carrying the ball and tackling and that kept us in it. We started the second 40 positively but fatigue set in, our skills broke down and we lost the script. Congrats to the Red Sharks on a well-deserved win”

Earlier, Jamaica Defence Force Warriors were comfortable 16-0 winners over West Kingston Hyenas in the play-off for third place.

Courtney Davies, Demar Williams and Okeano Stephenson each scored tries while Nicolai Kennedy kicked two goals. 

In the NCC U19 Grand Finals, Portmore Rugby League Club defeated Washington Blvd. Bulls 4-0 courtesy of a try from Rasheed Pencle.

Meanwhile, in the other U19 club game St Bess Rugby League Club defeated Liguanea Dragons 26-0 for third place.

 

Defending champions Duhaney Park Red Sharks face Washington Boulevard Bulls, the latter in their first decider in the Jamaica Rugby League National Club Championship Grand Final on Saturday, September 17 at the University of West Indies Mona Bowl (kick-off 4 pm, local time). 

The Bulls, who joined the NCC in 2017, beat Jamaica Defence Force Warriors 24-18 in their semi-final, whilst the Red Sharks qualified for their sixth straight championship tie - and 14th in the last 16 years – by beating West Kingston Hyenas, 54-6.

 The Warriors and Hyenas meet as part of a Grand Final double-header to contest third place (kick-off 2 pm, local time), both games will be played at the UWI Mona Bowl.

Bulls Head Coach Derone Davis said of reaching the final: “Our first half was poor but we got it together in the second 40. Our forwards are usually our strength and gave us momentum but our back line stood up, especially defensively. Overall, I am proud of the team. For the finals, we hope we can put together a more complete performance as we will have to be at our best to challenge the champions.”

Adrian Brown with two tries and two goals led the way for Duhaney in their triumph.

“The semis was about getting our combinations right as we are still looking for the perfect game,” said Head Coach Roy Calvert. “The finals will be exciting, we are going for victory and are confident of achieving it but know we need to play a certain way to win. Bulls are a good team and have been on our heels all season.”

Play will resume at the BMW PGA Championship on Saturday after a day's pause following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Event organisers halted play late on Thursday and all day Friday following news of Her Majesty's passing at the age of 96.

However, the DP World Tour has confirmed play will resume at Wentworth on Saturday, with the tournament to be contested over 54 holes rather than 72.

"The decision to restart on Saturday has been taken in accordance with Official National Mourning guidance and in consultation with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)," the DP World Tour's statement read.

"The Wentworth event will give players, caddies, staff, volunteers and spectators the opportunity to come together across the weekend, not only to express their condolences but also to celebrate the extraordinary life of Her Majesty.

"The second round of the BMW PGA Championship will resume at 6.40am on Saturday morning and all original second round tee times will remain the same. 

"Those players who are yet to complete their first round will do so from 7.30am onwards from the place on the golf course where they stopped on Thursday afternoon.

"Across the weekend at Wentworth, black ribbons will be made available for people to wear and flags will continue to fly at half-mast."

"In addition, there will be a two-minute silence at 9.50am on Saturday morning across the venue to commemorate the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the proclamation of King Charles III being shown on the television screens in the Championship Village from 10am."

Tommy Fleetwood, Andy Sullivan and Viktor Hovland held a joint-lead with an eight-under par 64 when play came to a stop on Thursday.

England's third Test against South Africa at The Oval will also resume on Saturday, while the Super League clash between Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils will go ahead as planned.

Friday's meeting between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos had already been given the green light to take place as it is being held in Perpignan in the south of France.

However, all Premier League and English Football League fixtures this weekend have been called off, as has Saturday's undisputed middleweight championship bout between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall.

The fight at the O2 Arena in London has been provisionally postponed until October 15.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has confirmed play will resume on Saturday in England's third Test match against South Africa following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

The governing body made the decision to cancel all fixtures across domestic and international level on Friday following the news Britain's longest-reigning monarch had passed away aged 96 at her home in Balmoral on Thursday.

The first day of the deciding match between England and South Africa on Thursday had been a washout due to weather, but will now be anticipated to get underway at The Oval on Saturday following the go-ahead.

"Cricket will resume on Saturday to pay tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and honour her remarkable life and service," an ECB statement read.

"Following the cancellation of Friday’s cricket fixtures as a mark of respect on announcement of her death, the England and Wales Cricket Board can confirm that play will resume from Saturday including international, domestic, and recreational fixtures.

"The decision has been taken after consultation with DCMS and in line with Official National Mourning guidance. 

"This means the Men’s Test match between England and South Africa will begin at The Oval and the Women’s IT20 match between England and India will also go ahead at the Riverside in Durham.

"The scheduled match between England and Sri Lanka Men’s U19 along with recreational cricket fixtures will also take place as planned.

"Before each match, a minute’s silence will be observed followed by the national anthem. All players and coaches will wear black armbands. Branded inventory will be replaced with messaging paying cricket's respects to The Queen."

Captain Ben Stokes said he would "be honoured to play" in the Queen's memory earlier on Friday, before official confirmation came through from the ECB.

Meanwhile, the Rugby Football League has also confirmed matches will take place as planned across all levels, including Saturday's Super League play-off encounter between Huddersfield Giants and Salford Red Devils.

Friday's clash between Catalans Dragons and Leeds Rhinos had already been handed the go-ahead due to taking place in Perpignan in the south of France.

However, Saturday's undisputed middleweight championship bout between Claressa Shields and Savannah Marshall at the O2 Arena in London has been provisionally postponed until October 15.

A statement from the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) read: "As a mark of respect following the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the British Boxing Board of Control has made the decision to postpone Saturday's event, BOXXER: Legacy - Shields vs Marshall.

"Our sincere thoughts are with His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal Family during this profoundly sombre time. We are working with all parties to provisionally reschedule for Saturday, 15th October, at The O2 in London."

Former North Queensland Cowboys coach Paul Green, who guided the club to a maiden NRL Premiership, has died suddenly aged 49.

The ex-halfback, who enjoyed a prolific playing career across five different clubs before hanging up his boots and moving into the coaching box, is reported to have been found in his home in Brisbane on Thursday.

Green, who also played for and coached Queensland in State of Origin, was a beloved figure in Townsville, where he led the Cowboys to their greatest heights during a six-and-a-half year spell between 2014 and 2020.

In just his sophomore season, he led them from a third-place regular season finish to a first league crown, defeating rivals Brisbane Broncos in the first all-Queensland Grand Final in a 17-16 thriller.

In addition, he guided them to the 2016 World Club Challenge crown against Leeds Rhinos, and was a two-time NRL Nines winner, in 2014 and 2020.

Green had been out of a position since resigning as Queensland boss last September following a lone series in charge of the Maroons, but had been tipped to return to the sport next year.

England boss Eddie Jones says he would love to swap codes and take up an NRL head coach position, but admits the likelihood of a move to rugby league is small.

The Australian spent time following his side's tour victory over the Wallabies visiting leading sports clubs across the country, including NRL premiers Penrith and AFL duo Melbourne and Carlton.

Jones has his focus on taking England one step further than their silver-medal finish at the Japan 2019 World Cup next year when he leads them to France 2023.

But beyond that, his future is unclear, and the veteran admits he would be delighted to get the chance to chance his arm in league's biggest domestic competition, particularly with boyhood club South Sydney Rabbitohs.

"I like the game," Jones told Nine. "If there was an opportunity there [in the NRL] I would jump at it, but the reality is it’s probably not going to be there."

Jones' admiration for the rival code comes at a time when a proliferation of great union successes have been guided by former league stalwarts.

Ex-Wigan forward Andy Farrell guided Ireland to a first-ever series win in New Zealand against the All Blacks earlier this month, while ex-Leeds captain Kevin Sinfield was instrumental in Leicester's Premiership triumph too.

Shaun Edwards has helped revolutionise France's defence under Fabien Galthie, and Jones' own assistant, the former Souths head coach Anthony Seibold, has been an ace in their revival this summer against the Wallabies.

It is the Rabbitohs the 62-year-old grew up as a fan of, and asked if he would be tempted by the top job at Redfern, he admitted: "That would be the dream team. That would be the dream.

"From the age of five, I’ve supported Souths. That would be fantastic [to coach the Rabbitohs]. I loved the old teams with Ronnie Coote, Bob McCarthy, John Sattler and Eric Simms. 100 per cent [I'd take the job]."

Souths are currently led by former assistant Jason Demetriou, who succeeded veteran coach Wayne Bennett at the end of last year, and currently lie sixth on the NRL ladder as they push for the playoffs.

NRWL star Karina Brown says she felt "triggered" by the decision of several Manly Warringah Sea Eagles players to prominently boycott wearing a pride-inspired rainbow jersey this week against Sydney Roosters.

The Sea Eagles will be missing seven players for the NRL crunch clash with the Roosters over the club's decision to wear a kit featuring coloured stripes instead of white on the traditional swap.

Boss Des Hasler apologised to both the LGBTQ+ community and the players, who claim they were not consulted on the call, and have cited family, religious and cultural beliefs for their boycott.

Brown, a two-time World Cup winner and prominently out sportswoman, admitted the furore has left her angered, joining the latest list of voices to speak out against the players' decision.

"It did trigger me, if I’m honest," the Queensland and Australian representative told the On Her Game podcast. "I felt a bit enraged and frustrated.

"This jersey is a Women in League round jersey and it's 'everyone in league' ... whether you love someone of the same sex or whether you love Jesus Christ, there’s a place for you here in rugby league.

"To get upset about a jersey with a few added extra colours on the piping to represent everyone in league, not just pride, I was just astounded that was a stance that some players have taken.

"It's just so important. People are realising that discrimination is so hurtful in this society and so we're trying to do something about it.

"[It's] definitely frustrating that we're still talking about it but it does still exist. I can see now why we don’t have an NRL Pride round."

The continued fallout has led to suggestions a designated pride round could be installed in the NRL as soon as next season, with ARLC chairman Peter V'Landys floating the concept as a possibility on Tuesday.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson backed Manly's decision to stick with their jersey, adding that he was frustrated by continued discrimination. 

"It is great what the owners of Manly have decided to do and it is unfortunate that it has panned out this way because everyone is equal, no matter what race, gender, sexual preference, everyone is equal," he stated.

"Let people make their choice and let’s not discriminate against those, and we are still doing that, and that is why it is unfortunate."

Manly Warringah Sea Eagles have confirmed seven of their players will sit out their NRL clash with Sydney Roosters on Thursday over the team's decision to wear a pride jersey.

The Northern Beaches outfit are set to become the first club in the competition's history to sport a specialised strip, with rainbow stripes in place of the club's typical white set to show support for the LGBTQ+ community.

But the club have become embroiled in a boycott by seven players, who say they were not consulted on the decision, and have objected on religious and cultural grounds.

In a press conference on Tuesday, coach Des Hasler apologised to both the LGBTQ+ community and the players, stating they should have been consulted on plans to wear the strip.

"They were not included in any of the discussions, and at a minimum, they should have been consulted," the two-time NRL premiership-winning boss said.

Though the club has not named the seven who will sit out the clash, reports in local media have identified them as Josh Aloiai, Jason Saab, Christian Tuipulotu, Josh Schuster, Haumole Olakau'atu, Tolu Koula and Toafofoa Sipley.

The match is a crucial one for both Manly and Sydney, with the winner taking the advantage in the race to reach the NRL playoffs in September.

While Hasler added that he respected the decision of the players, backlash to it has been widespread.

Former Manly star Ian Roberts, the first rugby league footballer to come out as gay, said the decision "saddens" him.

Ex-Wakefield Trinity prop Keegan Hirst, who became the first professional British rugby league player to come out as gay, in 2015, questioned the players' beliefs given Manly are sponsored by a betting firm.

ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys meanwhile stated the competition could introduce a pride round as soon as the 2023 season, in response to the furore, pointing to the game's history of immigrant inclusivity as a springboard.

"It was inclusive back then and it is inclusive now," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's important that every boy and girl and man and woman can go to the game and feel they can be treated the same as everyone else."

This is not the first time the NRL has sought to make a stand opposing LGBTQ+ discrimination, with the league previously blacklisting ex-Wallabies star Israel Folau following his attempts to return to rugby league after he was dismissed from rugby union.

The centre ultimately landed at Catalans Dragons in Super League, before returning to Australia and then Japan, where he currently plays with the Shining Arcs.

Ex-Manly Warringah Sea Eagles prop Ian Roberts says it "saddens" him that several of the club's players will reportedly boycott the decision to wear a pride jersey against Sydney.

The Sea Eagles are set to face the Roosters on Thursday in a specialised rainbow strip showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

But it has been reported that possibly more than half-a-dozen stars are set to refuse to feature, citing they were not consulted by the club, leaving Roberts - the first rugby footballer in either code to come out as gay, in 1995, frustrated.

"LGBTIQA people have always been a part of sport but haven’t always been allowed the visibility," he said.

"Honestly, I have been trying to get the NRL to have a pride round for the past three years and it still hasn’t got the traction it deserves.

"It saddens me because they think having a float at the Mardi Gras is enough and it’s not."

Gold Coast Titans have sacked former captain Kevin Proctor after the 33-year-old posted a video of himself appearing to vape at half-time during his side's NRL loss to Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs.

The Queensland outfit were downed 36-26 at CommBank Stadium by the Bulldogs on Sunday to keep them marooned joint-bottom of the ladder with Wests Tigers after a miserable season.

Ex-skipper Proctor - who was a non-playing member of the matchday squad as 19th man - appeared to be seen inhaling from a vape pen during the interval in a since-deleted video posted to Instagram, with the Titans trailing 26-10.

Both vaping and the use of mobile phones in dressing rooms are a breach of stadium and sport integrity rules, and Gold Coast have now opted to dismiss the second-rower out of hand, with a $15,000 fine to boot.

Proctor, a former Kiwi Test veteran and an NRL Premiership winner in 2012 with Melbourne, was a flagship purchase for the Titans when he arrived for the 2017, and held the armband until the end of last term.

His dismissal may spell the end of his first-grade career in Australia, with several sides already juggling tight salary cap restrictions.

Queensland emerged victorious in a pulsating series finale to reclaim the State of Origin shield in a thrilling 22-12 win over New South Wales in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The Maroons looked to be in danger of slipping to a fourth series defeat in the last five in their own backyard, after the Blues handed them a blowout defeat in Perth for Origin II following a narrow win in Sydney in Origin I.

But in one of the modern great deciders in series history, Billy Slater's wounded hosts held on in the final quarter of a bruising encounter to win at Suncorp Stadium in Origin III.

Both teams lost players to injury straight out of the gate, with New South Wales' Cameron Murray and Queensland duo Selwyn Cobbo and Lindsay Collins all forced off with head injuries in the first five minutes.

Despite being down two men, the Maroons still struck first through Valentine Holmes' tackle-busting dart out wide in the 12th minute, though the Penrith Panthers half-back combo of Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai promptly combined for a Blues response six minutes later

Debutant Jacob Saifiti steamrollered through after repeat sets for the visitors to hand them the lead nine out from the break, but Queensland reduced the deficit to two heading into the interval after Kurt Capewell leapt onto a sublime Harry Grant grubber.

An ill-tempered start to the second half saw Dane Gagai and Matt Burton both sin-binned for a dust-up, before Ben Hunt helped quell a Blues resurgence with a superb 40-20, setting the stage for a chain of repeat sets eventually finished by Kalyn Ponga.

Grant looked to have potentially sealed the deal for the Maroons with a dozen minutes left on the clock, only for the bunker to chalk it off - but when Hunt picked off a last-gasp Cleary chip to go the length of the field with two minutes to go, the release of emotion around Brisbane ensured this would be remembered as one of the all-time series encounters.

New South Wales pulled level in the State of Origin series with an impressive 44-12 win against Queensland in Perth on Sunday.

After a dramatic defeat in Origin I in Sydney, it was imperative that the Blues bounced back, and they got the first points on the board from the boot of Nathan Cleary with a 12th-minute penalty.

The Maroons crossed for the first try of the night in the 23rd minute when Felise Kaufusi ran onto a well-timed Kalyn Ponga pass, though the Blues responded immediately as Cleary executed a smart kick to his left straight into the hands of Matt Burton, who went over.

Queensland came right back though as Ponga again created an opening with a quick run and delayed pass to Valentine Holmes, who handed off to Cameron Munster, the player of the match in Origin I, and he raced through to score.

The game turned when Kaufusi was sent to the sin bin for repeated infringements just before half-time, and it made an immediate difference as a swift move out to the left ended with Burton moving the ball on to Brian To'o, who sped to the corner, with Cleary adding the extras to make it 14-12 to the Blues at the break.

Brad Fittler's men began the second half in equally dominant fashion as the Blues took the game away from their tiring opponents, with Daniel Tupou and Jarome Luai adding further tries before the hour.

The floodgates opened as Cleary claimed two tries of his own to take the game away from Queensland, with Angus Crichton adding another before the end, sealing a dominant win to set up Origin III at Suncorp Stadium on July 13.

Duhaney Park Red Sharks, Liguanea Dragons and Washington Bulls each recorded victories during week two of the Jamaica Rugby League National Club Championships on the weekend.

Queensland survived a late rally from New South Wales to claim a tense 16-10 victory in this year's State of Origin opener in Sydney.

New South Wales went into Origin I having won three of the last four series, and Jack Wighton crashed over in the 14th minute at Accor Stadium to give them a 4-0 lead.

But the Blues could not build on that advantage and the Maroons overturned it in the 34th minute when Dane Gagai pounced on Selwyn Cobbo's grubber kick and Valentine Holmes added the extras.

Junior Paulo looked to have quickly restored the Blues' lead, only for Cameron Murray to be penalised for obstruction and Queensland took control after the restart.

Daly Cherry-Evans side-stepped his way over as first receiver from the scrum eight minutes into the second half and Kalyn Ponga fed Holmes for Queensland's third try five minutes later.

Murray gave New South Wales hope nine minutes from time, but Queensland held on with a great defensive effort led by Man of the Match Cameron Munster, who helped secure the win for former Melbourne Storm and Maroons team-mate Billy Slater in his first Origin game as head coach.

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