International team at Cougar Park
One of Rugby League’s newest international teams, Jamaica, will be guests of Keighley Cougars for Sunday’s vital Co-operative Championship One encounter with Hunslet Hawks, kick off 3.00pm.
The Jamaicans will be in the UK to take part in next Wednesday’s Carnegie Floodlit Nines at Headingley and their team is made up of resident players as well as some qualified players who are on the books of British professional clubs.
Rugby League has been played in Jamaica since 2004 and it’s currently the only West Indian nation with a Rugby League presence.
The team will be coached by former Gateshead Thunder coach Dean Thomas, who is now on the coaching staff at Sheffield Eagles.
And to welcome Jamaica to Cougar Park the club is planning to make a special presentation to the West Indians.
Helen Carter, the Cougars General Manager, said: “It’s an honour for the club to host the Jamaican team.
“They are pioneering the sport in a part of the world that’s famed for its sporting prowess and we want them to receive a warm welcome when they come to Cougar Park”.
Accompanying their party is expected to be a Rugby League legend from the 1970s and 1980s winger Des Drummond, who is part of the Jamaican coaching staff.
The Bolton-based former international played most of his career for Leigh, where he is still an iconic figure, and at Warrington as well as appearing for Great Britain.
And in further news...
Jamaine Wray, Keighley Cougars’ super sub, is set to become the club’s latest international.
Wray, who regularly comes off the bench as Cougars’ impact player, has been included in the Jamaican squad for the Carnegie Floodlit Nines at Headingley next Wednesday and if he is included he will follow Neil Lowe who played for Scotland in last year’s World Cup onto the Cougars’ Roll of Honour.
But first Jamaine, who is known throughout Yorkshire Rugby League circles as ‘Killer’, has to come through Sunday’s crucial Co-operative Championship One meeting with his former club Hunslet.
Barry Eaton, Keighley’s Head Coach, said: “Dean Thomas the Jamaican coach spoke to me about Jamaine and I’ve agreed to him being included in their squad for the Nines.
“It’s a great opportunity for Jamaine and a big honour for the club.
“He’s got to come through 100 per cent against the Hawks and I’ve asked Dean to bear in mind that we’ll need Jamaine to be at his best for our meeting with London Skolars at the New River Stadium on Friday evening.”
Former Gateshead Thunder coach Thomas, who is now working on the Sheffield Eagles coaching staff under Head Coach Mark Aston, said: “I’ve known Jamaine since 2002 and he’s been part of my thinking for the Nines for quite some time.
“Also we’ve got some international games scheduled for the autumn and Jamaine is part of my plans for them too.”
And Wray will have an opportunity to meet up with his new squad mates as the Jamaican squad will be guests of the Cougars for the Hunslet game on Sunday.”