The Jamaica Rugby League Association is set to officially restart national training for domestic players, after getting the green light from the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). The permission is timely as the Reggae Warriors are set to participate in the Rugby League World Cup in England at the end of 2022, and its domestic contingent has gone over 18 months without matches.
Plans are in place to have a maximum 50 male and a similar number of female players chosen, with two representative squads for each to then be selected under the Parish Of Residence (POR) banner. Team Red will feature players mostly residing or playing for clubs/colleges/universities in Kingston and St. Andrew Parishes, whilst Team Blue will be made up of players mostly living in or playing for clubs/colleges/universities in St. Catherine and other parishes.
Strict ODEM Covid-19 protocols will be followed at all sessions and games. A total of five matches are expected to be staged from April to September, Covid conditions permitting. All players and officials must be vaccinated or undergo testing before each session.
JRLA director of rugby, Romeo Monteith. said: “We would like to thank both ODPEM and the Ministry of Sport for the hard work being done to give National Governing Bodies the green light to return to some activity. Massive credit goes to our vice-chairman Adrian Hall who spearheaded our bid to return to train, it’s been an agonizing wait.
“Our rugby league community has been devasted by the long absence from playing and at least now our national players can officially resume preparation for the World Cup and other international events we are planning for the year. We continue to ask our wider members to be patient and exercise good judgement as we await further improvements in the health situation and a return to community and school rugby league.”