United States national rugby league team

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
United States
Badge of United States team
Nickname Hawks
Governing body USA Rugby League
Region Americas
Head coach Brian McDermott
RLIF ranking 10th
First international
 France 31–0 United States 
(Toulouse, France; October 1954)
Biggest win
 Japan 6–78 United States 
(Jacksonville, USA; June 27, 2003)
Biggest defeat
 England 110–0 United States 
(Orlando, USA; 2000)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (first time in 2013)
Best result Quarter-Finals (2013)

The United States national rugby league team, nicknamed the Hawks,[1] represents the United States in international rugby league football competitions. The team is controlled by the USA Rugby League (USARL) and is overseen by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF).

The United States competed with little success in some international games during the 1950s, but did not return to consistent competition until 1987. After the establishment of the AMNRL in 1997, the team began to participate in more regular international competition, reaching the finals of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup. Until 2013, the side was nicknamed the Tomahawks and administered by the AMNRL.


Early years

One of the earliest attempts to introduce rugby league to the United States was in 1953, when Mike Dimitro, a wrestling promoter, was asked to organize a tour of Australasia by an American rugby league team.

The team, known as the American All-Stars, was given a huge schedule that included 26 matches against Australian and New Zealand sides. None of the 22 American players had ever played rugby league prior to this tour, they presented themselves in American football-like attire early on in the tournament. The team only won six games and tied two.

Their second match of the tour, against a Sydney side, drew a crowd of 65,453 to the Sydney Cricket Ground. After a consistent lack of competition, crowds were good but never reached the great height that the match at the SCG did.

The tour did not in turn bring any benefits to American rugby league. However, Mike Dimitro did not give up; he was able to organise two exhibitions against Australia and New Zealand in California that did not turn out to be a big success.


In 1987, the United States played their first international game since 1954 against Canada. They have participated in the World Sevens (1992–1997), Super League World Nines (1996, 1997), Emerging Nations World Cup (2000) and Victory Cup (2003, 2004) competitions.


In 1997 the team was organized by Super League America, which was succeeded by the American National Rugby League (AMNRL) in 2001. The United States Tomahawks warmed up for the 2000 World Cup with a three-match trip to New South Wales, Australia. On Friday August 11, they took on Forster XIII, drawn from Forster’s two clubs, the Hawks and the Dragons. The Americans were defeated 32–12. They also played the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the old Redfern Oval during Souths' appeal to return to the Australian NRL.


File:Usa rugby shirt.PNG
2004 USA team shirt
Team badge used until 2010

In 2001, as a response to the September 11 attacks, the AMNRL set up a rugby league match between local USA born players (USA All Stars) and AMNRL players who were born overseas (World Allies All Stars). The match was won by the USA All Stars 27–26. Proceeds from the game were donated to the Red Cross to help with cleanup operations.

Since 2002, the Tomahawks have been playing regular international competition in the United States. In 2002, the United States were defeated by Russia 54–10 in front of over 5,000 spectators in Moscow.

On December 1, 2004, the Tomahawks played their first ever international game against the Australian Kangaroos, the reigning Rugby League World Cup champions and who only 4 days earlier had won the 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations Final 44-4 over the Great Britain Lions in Leeds, England. The game, known as the Liberty Bell Cup was played at Franklin Field at the University of Pennsylvania and was played on a grid iron size synthetic field (Fox Sports Australia commentators Warren Smith and former Australian captain Laurie Daley reported that the Kangaroos were not too enthused about playing on the synthetic turf). It was also played in 20 minute quarters rather than the normal 40 minute halves. The Tomahawks shocked the rugby league world by quickly racing to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter while the World Champions were making simple mistakes and bombed numerous try scoring opportunities. A third converted try just 4 minutes into the 2nd quarter saw Americans lead by the unbelievable score of 18-0 until replacement forward Petero Civoniceva sent fullback Matthew Bowen on a 60-metre run to score under the posts with 5 minutes remaining in the first half. However, a fourth converted try saw the home side lead by the World Champions 24-6 at half time. The Americans actually led for most of the game until the Kangaroos superior fitness saw them rally in the last quarter of the game to win 36–24. Although they lost the game, many consider this to be the American's finest moment in international rugby league competition.

In October 2006, The Tomahawks were to participate in a four team Atlantic qualifying pool for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup, but South Africa and the West Indies withdrew. As a result, The Atlantic qualifying pool was reduced to a single game between the Tomahawks and Japan. The USA won 54–18. They then played Samoa in the Repechage Semi Final. Samoa won this match 42–10. Despite playing well against Samoa and coming within two games of qualifying for the World Cup, the United States were dropped from 14th down to 15th, when the new world rankings were released after the tournament.

In 2009 and 2010 the United States hosted other emerging North American teams in the Rugby League Atlantic Cup at Hodges Stadium at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.[2]


In 2011, seven teams in the AMNRL domestic competition broke away to form the USA Rugby League (USARL). The AMNRL denied selection to players affiliated with USARL teams, including players who had been selected for the Tomahawks previously.[3]

The United States began the 2013 World Cup Qualification Atlantic Tournament with a comprehensive 40–4 victory over the South Africa Rhinos in Philadelphia,[4] keeping their chances of qualification for the 2013 World Cup alive. A victory over Jamaica in their final tournament match would ensure their qualification. Coached by Australian Matthew Elliot,[5] The Tomahawks 40–4 victory over Jamaica qualified them for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, their first ever.[6]

The Tomahawks won a warm up against 4th ranked France, defeating them 22–18 in Toulouse making it their best victory to date.[7]

In the tournament proper, they played the Cook Islands and Wales within their group, and then an inter-group game against Scotland, beating the Cook Islands 32– 0,[8] Wales 24–16,[9] and losing 22–8 to Scotland.[10] As group winners, USA faced Australia in the quarter-finals, losing 62-0 to be eliminated from the tournament.

Following the World Cup, the national team was put on hiatus while the governance dispute between the AMNRL and the USA Rugby League was resolved. The team subsequently lost the right to automatic qualification for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. In November 2014, stewardship of the national team was transferred to the USARL, and the team was rebranded from Tomahawks to Hawks.[11] Brian McDermott was subsequently appointed head coach[12] and his first job was to help the USA re-secure their World Cup qualification that they first succeeded doing four years ago. The team performed the qualification tournament, held in the US, in December 2015.

Tournament history

Rugby League World Cup

Rugby League World Cup Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L PF PA
France 1954 Did not participate
Australia 1957
United Kingdom 1960
Australia New Zealand 1968
United Kingdom 1970
France 1972
Australia New Zealand 1977
United Kingdom 1995
United Kingdom France 2000
Australia 2008 Did not qualify
France United Kingdom 2013 Quarter final 5th 4 2 0 2 64 122
Australia New Zealand 2017 To be determined


For all past and present players who have appeared for the national team, see United States national rugby league team players.

Current squad

The following players were called up to play for the United States national team for the 2015 Colonial Cup first test against Canada.[13]

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Pts. Club
FB Shaniyat Chowdhury United States Brooklyn Kings
WG Urban Iyo United States Boston 13s
WG Roman Lowery United States Philadelphia Fight
CE Michael Garvey (1988-07-27) 27 July 1988 (age 31) United States Philadelphia Fight
CE Justin Hackett United States NOVA Eagles
SO Ryan Burroughs United States NOVA Eagles
SH Lucas Baistrocchi United States Boston 13s
PR Tone Rodriguez United States Brooklyn Kings
PR Nick Newlin United States Atlanta Rhinos
HK Jared Frymoyer United States Philadelphia Fight
SR Andrew Kneisly United States Philadelphia Fight
SR Marcos Flegmann United States Boston 13s
LF Kevin Wiggins United States Delaware Black Foxes
LF Gareth Walker United States Central Florida Warriors
CE Terrance Williams United States Atlanta Rhinos
PR Roman Pritt United States DC Slayers
SR Zachary Reichenbach United States Philadelphia Fight
WG Maika Polamalu United States DC Slayers


For all past and present coaches for the national team, see United States national rugby league team coaches.


Official Rankings as of December 2015[14]
Rank Change Team Points
1 Steady  New Zealand 897.00
2  Australia 719.00
3  England 655.00
4  Samoa 280.00
5  France 209.00
6 Increase  Ireland 162.00
7 Decrease  Fiji 147.00
8 Increase  Wales 132.00
9 Decrease  Scotland 121.00
10 Steady  United States 102.00
11 Increase  Serbia 72.00
12 Steady  Italy 65.00
13  Canada 62.00
14 Decrease  Papua New Guinea 60.00
15 Increase  Russia 46.00
16 Decrease  Tonga 40.00
17 Increase  Belgium 40.00
18  Malta 32.00
19 Steady  Germany 28.00
20  Lebanon 27.00
21 Increase  Spain 26.00
22 Decrease  Cook Islands 23.00
23  Ukraine 22.00
24 Steady  Greece 21.00
25 Increase  Denmark 20.00
26 Decrease  Norway 19.00
27 Increase  Jamaica 16.00
28 Decrease  Netherlands 15.00
29 Decrease  Sweden 15.00
30 Steady  Czech Republic 14.00
31 Decrease  South Africa 13.00
32 Steady  Niue 4.00
33  Hungary 2.00
34  Latvia 2.00
35  Morocco 0.00

Below is table of the official representative rugby league matches played by the Unites States at test level up until 9 August 2014:

International Results
Opponent Pld W D L % Won FM
 Australia 2 0 0 2 0% 2004
 Canada 21 17 0 4 81% 1987
 Cook Islands 2 1 0 1 50% 1995
 England 1 0 0 1 0% 2000
 France 2 1 0 1 50% 1954
 Ireland 1 0 0 1 0% 2004
Republic of Ireland Ireland ‘A’ 8 5 0 3 63% 1995
 Italy 1 0 0 1 0% 2000
Italy Italy ‘A’ 1 0 0 1 0% 2006
 Jamaica 3 3 0 0 100% 2009
 Japan 5 5 0 0 100% 1999
 Lebanon 1 0 0 1 0% 1999
 Morocco 1 1 0 0 100% 2000
New Zealand New Zealand 'A' 1 0 0 1 0% 2002
 Russia 5 0 0 5 0% 1994
 Samoa 2 0 0 2 0% 2007
 Scotland 2 0 0 2 0% 1995
 South Africa 1 1 0 0 100% 2011
Tatarstan Tatarstan 1 0 0 1 0% 2002
 Tonga 1 0 0 1 0% 2012
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg Queensland Murri 1 0 0 1 0% 2012
 Wales 3 1 0 2 33% 1995
Total 63 30 0 31 52%

Results and fixtures

For all past match results, see the team's results page.

World Nines results

  • Tonga def. USA 26–4 (1997)
  • Fiji def. USA 18–8 (1997)
  • Cook Islands def. USA 24–6 (1997)
  • Papua New Guinea def. USA 38–8 (1997)
  • Western Samoa def. USA 30–10 (1997)
  • Australia def. USA 24–0 (1997)
  • Cook Islands def. USA 22–0 (1996)
  • USA def. Morocco 18–4 (1996)
  • Western Samoa def. USA 14–6 (1996)
  • Australia def. USA 30–16 (1996)
  • Scotland def. USA 12–6 (1996)

World Sevens results

  • Illawarra def. USA* 18–6 (1997) *unofficial team
  • USA* def. Japan 18–14 (1997) *unofficial team
  • Italy def. USA* 22–0 (1997) *unofficial team
  • Gold Coast def. USA* 40–8 (1996) *unofficial team
  • USA* def. Japan 20–8 (1996) *unofficial team
  • Melbourne def. USA* 18–14 (1996) *unofficial team
  • Australian Aboriginals def. USA* 28–0 (1996) *unofficial team
  • Tonga def. USA 20–4 (1995)
  • USA def. Russia 28–8 (1995)
  • USA def. Italy 22–4 (1995)
  • USA def. Russia 20–6 (1995)
  • Sydney Tigers def. USA 24–10 (1995)
  • South Africa def. USA 20–8 (1994)
  • New Zealand def. USA 20–12 (1994)
  • France def. USA 18–12 (1994)
  • Wainuiomata def. USA 34–8 (1993)
  • South Sydney def. USA 28–6 (1993)
  • Illawarra def. USA 28–4 (1993)
  • Fiji def. USA 30–10 (1992)
  • USA def. CIS Red Arrows 12–8 (1992)
  • South Sydney def. USA 12–0 (1992)
  • Newcastle def. USA 16–0 (1992)

Student results

  • USA def. Japan 54–10 (1996)
  • Wales def. USA 22–18 (1996)
  • Western Samoa def. USA 82–8 (1996)
  • New Zealand def. USA 62–10 (1996)
  • USA def. Ireland 22–20 (1996)

Other representative results

  • USA All Stars def. World Allies All Stars 27–26 (2001)
  • Sydney def. USA All Stars 52–25 (1953)

See also


  1. http://www.usarl.com/2015/05/hawks-swoop-in-for-new-usa-national-team-name/
  2. Matthew Wicks (November 20, 2010). "Atlantic Cup Rugby Tournament". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved August 29, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. A. J. Carr (August 23, 2011). "AJ talks to the USARL key players about risks, challenges and success". a-teamsport.com. Retrieved August 29, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "RLEF". Rlef.eu.com. October 15, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Press Association (October 24, 2011). "USA beat Jamaica to secure 2013 Rugby League World Cup berth". The Guardian. Retrieved October 30, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Paul, Burrowes (October 28, 2011). "Rugby players encouraged despite whipping by USA". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved October 30, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Andy Wilson. "Rugby League World Cup 2013: USA shock France in warm-up | Sport". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2013-11-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. GMT (2013-10-30). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup: USA 32-20 Cook Islands". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Williams, Aled (2013-11-03). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup 2013: United States shock Wales". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Cartwright, Phil (2013-11-07). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup 2013: Scotland 22-8 USA". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Hawks swoop in for new USA National Team Name
  12. Brian McDermott to coach USA Hawks
  13. http://www.usarl.com/2015/07/usarl-hawks-players-shortlist-for-upcoming-test-matches-against-canada/
  14. RLIF Rankings.

External links