United States national rugby league team
|Governing body||USA Rugby League|
| France 31–0 United States
(Toulouse, France; October 1954)
| Japan 6–78 United States
(Jacksonville, USA; June 27, 2003)
| England 110–0 United States
(Orlando, USA; 2000)
|Appearances||1 (first time in 2013)|
|Best result||Quarter-Finals (2013)|
The United States national rugby league team, nicknamed the Tomahawks, 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.
- 1 History
- 2 Most Notable Recent Squad
- 3 USA Representative results
- 4 Coaches
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
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.
Return of the United States
In 1987, the United States played their first international game since 1954 against Canada. They have participated in the World Sevens (1992–1997), Superleague 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.
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 25,000 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 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.
2008 and 2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualifying
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. The United States began the 2013 World Cup Qualification Atlantic Tournament with a comprehensive 40–4 victory over the South Africa Rhinos in Philadelphia, 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, The Tomahawks 40–4 victory over Jamaica qualified them for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, their first ever.
2013 World Cup
The Tomahawks won a warm up against 4th ranked France, defeating them 22–18 in Toulouse making it their best victory to date.
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, Wales 24–16, and losing 22–8 to Scotland. As group winners, USA faced Australia in the quarter-finals, losing 62-0 to be eliminated from the tournament.
Most Notable Recent Squad
The US national team squad selected for the 2013 World Cup tournament (appearances, and points, apply for after the tournament finished):
|Australia||Fullback||Kristian Freed||4 July 1987||4||4||Connecticut Wildcats|
|Australia||Wing||Matthew Petersen||27 March 1980||8||8||Cudgen Hornets|
|New Zealand||Wing||Bureta Faraimo||16 July 1990||4||4||Mackay Cutters|
|United States||Wing||Taylor Welch||1 November 1989||3||4||New York Raiders|
|Australia||Centre||Gabriel Farley||1 May 1994||0||0||Southampton Dragons|
|Australia||Centre||Michael Garvey||27 July 1988||7||18||Ipswich Jets|
|American Samoa||Centre||Lelauloto Tagaloa||26 December 1986||5||0||Hawaii Chiefs|
|American Samoa||Stand-off||Joseph Paulo (Captain)||2 January 1988||8||48||Parramatta Eels|
|Australia||Halfback||David Marando||2 May 1984||4||6||Belrose Eagles|
|Australia||Halfback||Craig Priestly||8 January 1987||9||36||Southampton Dragons|
|Australia||Prop||Stephen Howard||13 January 1987||3||4||Tuggeranong Vikings|
|American Samoa||Prop||Judah Lavulo||1 February 1991||2||0||Cabramatta Two Blues|
|Australia||Prop||Mark Offerdahl||15 October 1987||6||8||Connecticut Wildcats|
|American Samoa||Prop||Junior Paulo||8 October 1983||3||0||Parramatta Eels|
|New Zealand||Prop||Les Soloai||20 February 1987||3||0||Utah Avalanche|
|Tonga||Hooker||Joel Luani||16 February 1992||4||0||Wests Tigers|
|American Samoa||Hooker||Tui Samoa||29 April 1983||4||8||Redcliffe Dolphins|
|American Samoa||Second-row||Roman Hifo||17 April 1986||3||0||Mangere East Hawks|
|Australia||Second-row||Clint Newton||18 June 1981||4||8||Penrith Panthers|
|New Zealand||Second-row||Eddy Pettybourne||13 February 1988||4||0||Wests Tigers|
|Australia||Second-row||Matt Shipway||11 September 1985||4||0||South Newcastle Lions|
|Australia||Lock||Daniel Howard||13 December 1984||6||8||Wentworthville Magpies|
USA Representative results
|Official Rankings as of December 2014|
|11||Papua New Guinea||112.00|
|New Zealand 'A'||1||0||0||1||0%||2002|
- Canada def. USA 52-14 (August 9, 2014)
- Australia def. USA 62–0 (November 16, 2013) – 2013 Rugby League World Cup
- Scotland def. USA 22–8 (November 7, 2013) – 2013 Rugby League World Cup
- USA def. Wales 24–16 (November 3, 2013) – 2013 Rugby League World Cup
- USA def. Cook Islands 32–20 (October 31, 2013) – 2013 Rugby League World Cup
- USA def. France 22-18 (October 18, 2013)
- USA def. Canada 44–16 (August 24, 2013)
- Canada def. USA 36–20 (July 6, 2013)
- Samoa def. USA 34–10 (June 2, 2013)
- USA 36 def. Canada 14 (September 22, 2012)
- USA 28 def. Canada 24 (September 8, 2012)
- Tonga def. USA 28–20 (May 12, 2012)
- USA def. Ireland 'A' 38–20 (March 18, 2012)
- USA def. Jamaica 40–4 (October 23, 2011) – 2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- USA def. South Africa 40–4 (October 15, 2011) – 2013 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- Canada def. USA 18–16 (September 18, 2011)
- USA def. Canada 18–2 (August 27, 2011)
- Ireland 'A' def. USA 26–8 (March 19, 2011)
- USA def. Canada 46–12 (November 20, 2010)
- USA def. Jamaica 36–26 (November 16, 2010)
- USA def. Canada 22–16 (September 19, 2010)
- USA def. Jamaica 37–22 (November 14, 2009)
- Samoa def. USA 42–10 (November 9, 2007) – 2008 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- USA def. Japan 54–18 (October 28, 2006) – 2008 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- Italy "A" def. USA 38–6 (February 4, 2006)
- USA def. Japan 40–10 (January 26, 2006)
- Australia def. USA 36–24 (December 1, 2004)
- Russia def. USA 64–8 (May 12, 2004)
- Ireland def. USA 74–16 (May 10, 2004)
- USA def. Ireland A 41–10 (March 24, 2004)
- USA def. Japan 78–6 (June 27, 2003)
- Russia def. USA 44–14 (May 6, 2003)
- USA def. Ireland A 20–16 (March 15, 2003)
- New Zealand A def. USA 74–14 (October 6, 2002)
- Russia def. USA 54–10 (September 13, 2002)
- Tatarstan def. USA 30–24 (September 9, 2002)
- USA def. Japan 26–10 (June 1, 2002)
- USA def. Ireland A 24–22 (March 16, 2002)
- USA def. Morocco 50–10 (2000) – 2000 Emerging Nations Tournament
- Italy def. USA 40–16 (November 17, 2000) – 2000 Emerging Nations Tournament
- USA def. Canada 52–10 (November 13, 2000) – 2000 Emerging Nations Tournament
- USA def. Ireland A 19–6 (March 18, 2000)
- England def. USA 110–0 (2000)
- Lebanon def. USA 62–8 (November 1999) – 2000 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- USA def. Canada 68–0 (1999) – 2000 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- USA def. Japan 54–0 (1999) – 2000 Rugby League World Cup Qualification Tournament
- USA def. Canada 32–6 (1998)
- USA def. Canada 50–10 (1997)
- Ireland A def. USA 26–6 (March 16, 1996)
- Russia def. USA 28–26 (October 20, 1995) – 1995 Emerging Nations Tournament
- Scotland def. USA 38–16 (October 18, 1995) – 1995 Emerging Nations Tournament
- Cook Islands def. USA 64–8 (October 16, 1995) – 1995 Emerging Nations Tournament
- Wales def. USA 66–10 (June 18, 1995)
- Wales def. USA 92–4 (June 11, 1995)
- Ireland A def. USA 24–22 (March 16, 1995)
- USA def. Canada 44–0 (1995)
- USA def. Canada 22–0 (1994)
- USA def. Canada 22–10 (1994)
- Russia def. USA 19–12 (1994)
- USA def. Canada 32–2 (1993)
- Canada def. USA 23–10 (1987)
- France def USA 31–0 (1954)
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)
- 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)
- John Cartwright (2004)
- Matthew Elliot (2007)
- Matthew Elliot (May 2011 – 2012)
- Ben Kelly interim (-August)
- Brian Smith (August 2013-October 2013)
- Terry Matterson (October 2013-)
- Native American mascot controversy, including the use of Native American logos.
- Matthew Wicks (November 20, 2010). "Atlantic Cup Rugby Tournament". The Florida Times-Union. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- 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.
- "RLEF". Rlef.eu.com. October 15, 2011. Retrieved December 10, 2011.
- Press Association (October 24, 2011). "USA beat Jamaica to secure 2013 Rugby League World Cup berth". The Guardian. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Paul, Burrowes (October 28, 2011). "Rugby players encouraged despite whipping by USA". Jamaica Observer. Retrieved October 30, 2011.
- Andy Wilson. "Rugby League World Cup 2013: USA shock France in warm-up | Sport". theguardian.com. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- GMT (2013-10-30). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup: USA 32-20 Cook Islands". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- Williams, Aled (2013-11-03). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup 2013: United States shock Wales". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- Cartwright, Phil (2013-11-07). "BBC Sport - Rugby League World Cup 2013: Scotland 22-8 USA". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-11-16.
- Huw Richards (November 29, 2013). "New Zealand Faces Australia in Rugby League Cup Final". nytimes.com. Retrieved December 12, 2013.
- ; RLIF Rankings
- American All Stars RL Team – rl1908.com