JAMAICA EXODUS LOCK IN FOR USARL 9s IN MAY
Exodus player Linval Green makes a break at the USARL 9's in Naples, 2022. Exodus jerseys can be bought exclusively at RLJ's online store HERE.
Since its inception in 2004, Rugby League Jamaica has been on a mission to grow rugby league within Jamaica and the wider diaspora. The organisation has gone from strength to strength despite very limited corporate support in Jamaica. The growth of the sport has been built on the back of participants willing to go above and beyond to keep rugby league alive. This same spirit extends to Jamaicans living in the diaspora and was a key ingredient in the forming of Jamaica’s newest representative, Jamaica Exodus.
Team Exodus was conceptualized by RLJ Directors of Rugby Romeo Monteith and Roy Calvert in 2022 with the goal of galvanizing Jamaican rugby league players living mostly in the USA and Canada to represent their nation in Nines and 13s exhibition games in North America. Selection is also open to players in Europe and the Southern Hemisphere who may also be interested. The team made its debut at the USARL 9s in Naples in 2022, ending the tournament as runners up.
According to Monteith, “There is often limited opportunities for players who have migrated to represent Jamaica, team Exodus presents players with that unique opportunity to represent the nation outside of full internationals. It came from a recognition that there are many players still at an elite level living in North America, and eager to showcase what Jamaicans can do. We are able to see of Jamaican heritage playing in the American and Canadian competitions who can become full internationals for Jamaica. This program compliments perfectly the Jamaica Hurricanes program which features the best domestic players competing against other regional rep teams and also in Nines tournaments .”
Team Exodus is down to compete once more in Florida in May, several players from last year’s team are expected to feature again, including Sandino Hastings, Renaldo Wade, Mike Williams, Nicholas Wright.
Wade who captained the team last year said, “2022 year was good, from the first game against Roots we realize this team is special. Any lingering doubts vanished. We were surprised to win every game except the finals as we didn’t get much time together. This year, we hope to get to the finals and go all the way, we know though it will be a hard task with many other quality teams present. I love this team and concept and hope to see it grow from strength to strength.”