LATIN America and the Philippines will usher in the 2015 rugby league season with the return bout of The Magellan Trophy at Brisbane’s Bishop Park on January 17.
After narrowly scraping together enough players in their international debut against the Tamaraws last January, the GYG Latin Heat are hell-bent on showing how quickly the 13-man game has engaged the Latino community.
Indeed, Latin America will field three teams (senior, development and youth) this time around, representing 24 heritages from non-traditional league backgrounds including El Salvador, Peru and Ecuador.
After being soundly spanked 114-0 by Asia Cup champions the Philippines on debut, Latin America has gone on to defeat Portugal and Japan, while also drawing with Thailand.
More pleasing though have been the victories away from the field, encouraging Mexico to stage its first rugby league tournaments and commencing discussions for domestic competitions in a number of Latin American nations.
By February it is anticipated that both Chile and El Salvador will be prepared for their first appearance at the International Nines in Sydney, with Colombia, Argentina, Peru and Uruguay only a handful of players away from joining them.
Trials and training for all Australian-based players of Latin American heritage begins in the coming week under the following arrangements:
• NSW-based: Wednesdays and Fridays (from Nov 26) at 7pm, Cabramatta RLFC, Sussex St, Cabramatta. Contact is head coach Gabriel Keegan on firstname.lastname@example.org
• QLD-based: Sundays (from Nov 23) at 9am, Brothers St Brendan’s, Kookabura Park, Tramore St, Rocklea. Players not completing a pre-season with a club side are also encouraged to train with Brothers St Brendan’s on Tuesdays at 6pm or Wests Mitchelton (Prospect Rd, Gaythorne) on Thursdays at 6.30pm. Contact is assistant coach Robert Burgin on Robert@sambatimes.com
• VIC-based: Training with squad leader JC Mendez. Contact email@example.com
• WA-based: Training with squad leader Grantito Chacone. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Latin American Rugby League welcomes nominations from players of all abilities in all locations with verifiable heritage in the following South and Central American nations:
Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Suriname, Uruguay, Venezuela.
To achieve its objectives of spreading the game far and wide, the not-for-profit Latin Heat also welcomes both uniform sponsors and partners interested in development programs in Latino communities.
Our extreme gratitude goes to supporters to this point, including Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taquerias, SHIELD Security, Rumba Latina Entertainment, Link Australia International Student Services, Chimi.com.au Gourmet Sauces, Gringo Media and Fighting for Fitness Gym.
To become involved contact Robert@sambatimes.com or send a message to ‘Latin Heat Rugby League – AU’ on Facebook.
To RSVP or share the Latin America v Philippines match go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/753385098067789/?ref=ts&fref=ts