CRONULLA Sharks rookie Ronaldo Mulitalo and the son of North Sydney legend Greg Florimo are among the debutants in the United States Hawks’ World Cup Nines squad.
Coach Sean Rutgerson, a former North Sydney team-mate of Florimo senior, has 29-year-old Jay from Central Coast club The Entrance in a 20-man squad for the new event, to be held at Parramatta’s Bankwest Stadium on October 18 and 19.
Mulitalo, 19, qualifies via his American Samoan background; he was raised in New Zealand.
“Jay’s mother was born on a US army base in Germany to an American father,” Rutgerson explains.
“I tried to get in contact with him last year, was unsuccessful but was told when I took over that he was eligible.
“He actually finally got back to me on Facebook Messenger recently and I got him to send all his stuff.”
Junior Vaivai, nephew of actor and wrestler Dwyane ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Hull’s Bureta Faraimo and 137-game NRL player Eddy Pettybourne are also in the USA squad, as is former Toronto Wolfpack utility Ryan Burroughs who recently switched to rugby union.
Rutgerson has called up another player, in addition to Mulitalo and Florimo, who has not represented the Hawks in 13-a-side or Nines competition.
Prop Brock Davies is a friend of recent cap Charlie Jones who played for Brooklyn Kings this year.
Davies is well known as the Australian who tried out of the New England Patriots in 2017.
The World Cup Nines represents an all-important second property – after the World Cup – for the Rugby League International Federation.
The US shares a ‘group of death’ with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The Hawks are the reigning Americas Nines champions after taking out the inaugural staging of that tournament in Toronto earlier this year.
David Washington (Jacksonville)
Charlie Jones (Jacksonville)
Khalial Harris (Jacksonville)
Brandon Anderson (Brooklyn)
Jamil Robinson (Brooklyn)
Marcus Satavu (Brooklyn)
Conner Donehue (Brooklyn)
Ryan Burroughs (Nova)
Bureta Faraimo (Hull)
Cory Makelim (Sheffield)
Danny Howard (Wentworthville)
Jerome Veve souths (Logan)
Kristian Freed (Wests Mitchelton)
Jay Florimo (The Entrance)
Eddy Pettybourne (Central Queensland)
Joe Eichner (Northern Pride)
Mark Offerdahl (Goondawindi)
Junior Vaivai (Toulouse)
Ronaldo Mulitalo (Cronulla)
Brock Davies (Brooklyn)