By Phil Caplan, Date: 7/9/12
The first game in this yearâ€™s Colonial Cup takes place on Saturday when Canada â€“ fresh from home victories over Jamaica and Lebanon â€“ host the USA at Lamport Stadium, Toronto (kick off 8pm local time)
The Wolverines have named a 17-man squad to face the World Cup bound Tomahawks after defeating them 18â€“16 at home in the second leg of the Cup last year.
However, the Tomahawks are the holders after a greater pointâ€™s differential following their first leg 18â€“2 win and will be confident about repeating the feat after strong performances against Ireland and Tonga this year.
The only Canadian changes were enforced, due to injuries to Ottawa Rhinos trio of Justin Redguard, Stu McReynolds, and Graham Stevens.
Replacing them are Jared Curry who returns after making his debut against Jamaica, and London Skolar Louis Robinson who makes his 2012 return after playing three internationals in 2011.
New Canada Wolverines coach Clayton Beckett commented, â€œAfter a strong performance against Lebanon, the team pretty much selected itself. Itâ€™s a shame for the lads with injuries but we are excited to have Jared and Louis back as we know they will be up for the occasion.â€
The 2012 AMNRL champion New York Knights and Grand Finalists Connecticut Wildcats provide the bulk of the USA squad, which is made up solely of domestic-based players as they focus on their debut in the 2013 World Cup.
â€œWe will have few debutants mixed in with some veteran Tomahawks players, which hopefully is going to be a successful combination for us,â€ said USA assistant coach Marcus Vassilakopoulos.
â€œWe are looking forward to a huge challenge against a very good Canada side that is coming off two big wins in front of the passionate Canadian fans.â€
He added, â€œOver the two games I should be able to see all the players and report back to Matty (Head Caoch Matthew Elliott) what I’ve seen, how they interact with each other, how they prepare themselves and how they ultimately play. All these aspects will be considered for squads leading up to and for the World Cup in 2013.”
Robin Legault, Tony Felix, Geoff Bylund, Christian Miller, Jared Curry, Matt Wyles , Jamie Lester (c), Keegan Watcham-Roy, Graham Dobbs, Louis Robinson, Cam Grace, Henry Miers, Chris Chalmers, Matt Pettie, Enoch Wamalwa , Mike Thorne, John Felix
Fitzjames Adams (NY Knights), Gareth Baxendale (NY Knights), Luke Collins (PA Bulls), Bryan Confer (PA Bulls), Curtis Cunz (CT Wildcats), John Dykeman (NY Knights), Todd Fisher (NY Knights), Kelly McGill (Hawaii), Vai Notoa (Hawaii), Justin Ripley (NY Knights), Ben Sadgrove (NY Knights), Mike Schacter (CT Wildcats), Dennis Schmeiler (CT Wildcats), Sean Taylor (NY Knights), Louis Tulio (PA Bulls), Dusten Umeda (CT Wildcats), Matt Walsh (CT Wildcats), Kevin Wiggins (PA Bulls)