New Rugby League Tri-Series for Americas
By Brian Lowe
The new competition will take the form of a Tri-Nations Series involving the USA, Canada and Jamaica. It is envisaged to be an annual competition that will be hosted by each country on a rotating basis.
An Americas Tri-Series, for want of a better term for now, is the brainchild of Canada Rugby League Association chairman Paul O’Keefe.
“I am trying to drive forward a new three-way series between Jamaica, USA and Canada to start in 2016 which would be played in July, but we are still jumping over a few hurdles,” said O’Keefe.
“As soon as the USARL can confirm dates we will make an announcement about our schedule.”
RugbyLeaguePlanet understands that the governing bodies from all three countries are on-board with the idea.
According to a spokesperson for the USARL, the inaugural go-round is tentatively set down to be played in the United States, probably in September.
A three-way series in the Americas also fits in nicely with a Strategic Plan announced late last year by the Rugby League International Federation (RLIF) aimed at increasing the number of Test matches for developing nations to help drive an expansion of the game globally.
As RLIF chairman Nigel Wood explained, from the Americas’ standpoint, one of the keys to growing the sport internationally is to get more games for all three countries.
“It’s important that the national sides get to play Rugby League football,” said Wood.
It’s believed that a Tri-Series format would more than likely mirror that of the recent Americas Rugby League World Cup Qualifying series in which all teams played each other once over an eight-day span.
It’s understood that should the US get the go ahead to host this year’s Tri-Series, Canada would then host in 2017, followed by Jamaica in 2018.
A joint announcement confirming the series is expected to be made shortly.