Latest news out of America concerning the forthcoming St. Patrick’s Day international fixture against Ireland is somewhat sobering, the clear message from the AMNRL on International Eligibility is that players from rival competitions will not be considered for selection.
The Donnybrook Cup
The 7th clash between the USA Tomahawks and the Irish Wolfhounds takes place Saturday, March 19 (4pm EST) at Charles Martin Stadium in Philadelphia, PA
See: Donnybrook Cup
That put’s the AMNRL toe-to-toe with the off-shoot USARL competition, which without actually taking the playing field as yet, contains seven clubs previously affiliated with the AMRNL.
Whilst working behind the scenes to resolve this split the RFL and RLIF have hithertoo refrained from public comment on this matter; the implicit message being that AMNRL president, David Niu, has their full backing and that the AMNRL continue to be the internationally recognized governing body.
1. Be registered to play with a club that has been approved by the AMNRL to compete in the 2011 AMNRL season or;
2. If the player is not a member of an approved club, upon separate application to the league and after the league’s approval, be registered as an AMNRL “At Large Player”.
Under no circumstances will any AMNRL player who is registered with a club in the AMNRL for the 2011 season or an approved At-Large player be permitted to practice with, play with or in any way be connected with or hold themselves out to be connected with any other league or competition that plays the game of rugby league in the United States which has not been officially sanctioned by the AMNRL.
See: Full AMNRL statement.
With the squad due to be announced on Wednesday March 9th any player currently registered with the USARL is faced with a tough choice and little time to make it. With the eligibility rules stating that they must – at the least – register as an at-large player before they will be considered for selection.
The hard line stance is bound to harden attitudes on both sides of the divide and means that the Tomahawks may be without players of the calibre of the USARL’s Jacksonville Axemen’s Damien O’Malveney who was player of the tournament in the 2010 Atlantic Cup.
2011 is slated to be busy international season for the Tomahawks too, with a home-and-home match-up against the Canadian Wolverines the prelude to their hosting a world cup qualifier, with a real chance of qualifying for their first ever RL World Cup tournament.
As yet their has been no official response from the USARL.