Rugby League Jamaica will launch its 2022 Parish of Residence (POR) series, which serves as the national selection tool for Jamaica’s domestic players to the full national team, the Reggae Warriors. The series will feature 3 games and the opener will be this Saturday at the UWI Mona Bowl in Kingston. The kick-off is at 2:30 with the women’s game, followed by the men’s clash at 4:00 pm. Games 2 and 3 will be played at the same venue May 21 and 28.
As is customary, national prospects have been placed in two squads, Reds, and Blues. Most players on Reds are from Kingston and St. Andrew and players from St. Catherine and other parishes dominate the Blues. The series started in 2015 and on the men’s side Reds have an envious 5-0 record and have only ever lost one game in the previous 10 played.
History will be created when women’s teams take the field as it will mark the first-time full-contact women’s rugby league is played locally. Director of Rugby Romeo Monteith said: “The women’s match is a big deal for us, the ladies have a big opportunity to qualify for the 2025 rugby league World Cup in France and this game marks the beginning of that journey. We are inviting all talented female athletes to give rugby league a go and be part of history.”
Blues women players are: Tihana Lewinson, Lovel Atkinson, Daynna Angus, Khimoi McKay, Naomi Mohamid, Vanessa Henry, Debisha Scarlett, Nazomi Christie, Ray-Anna McCalla, Naomi Dodd, Kimisha Jones, Shanoa Lewis, Teresa Smith and Ciara Modest. The team is coached by Andre Hill.
Reds Women are Shanique Smith, Latoya Sanchez, Alicia Richards, Aneil Campbell, MoeshaBogle, Brooke-Ashley Jarrett, Tiana Gordon, Shawna-Kay Douglas, Anna Kay Williams, Dae-Marie Whyte, Sheirne Johnson, Gabrielle Davidson, Candice Tulloch, Nicola Brissett and Lovell Evans. The team is coached by Andrew Dixon and Huntley Anderson.
The men’s Reds team are Andrew Simpson, Kenneth Walker, Adrian Brown, Kevin Thomas, Jenson Morris, Joseph Shae, Adrian Hall, Daniel Graham, Marvin Thompson, Andre McFarlane, Neville Lynch, Kile Nembhard, Owen Linton, Oshane Eddie, Sheldon Kelly, Michael Pearson, and Mahkaya Anderson. Head coach is Donovan Jackson.
Blues men’s team are Javian Bryan, Adrian Thomas, Shaqueil Pollack, Steve Miller, Miguel Facey, Ryan Grant, Julius Reid, Akeem Murray, Omar Jones, Khamisi McKain, Reinhardo Richards, Chevaughn Bailey, Ronaldeni Fraser, Chevaun Smith, Takeem Creary, and Linval Green. Head coach is Otis Brae.
Brae believes his squad is prepared to go all the way, saying: “We are ready. The lads have put in practice and getting themselves prepared for this series. The stem is to leave it all on the field where if they do their best, they are already winners”.
Meanwhile, Jackson is confident his unit’s experience will see them to victory: “We have a good culture in our squad and enough experienced players to lead us to another series win. We have prepared well; the players know what is at stake and are ready.”
Commenting on the men’s series Monteith, who is also Jamaica’s Head Coach noted: “What is at stake are spots to the rugby league World Cup in England at the end of the year, the players are aware of this and so am expecting high-quality rugby league. The games are always close so the fans will be in for a treat. I am really looking forward to identifying the top performers from game 1 and seeing if they can carry through to the next two games.”
Pictured – Reds Kenneth Walker is chased by Blues Julius Reid in the last POR Series in 2019.