USARL Hawks Youth Team Set for Historic Debut at U19 European Championships in Belgrade

First International Appearance Marks a Milestone for Youth Rugby League in the U.S..
USARL Hawks Youth Team Set for Historic Debut at U19 European Championships in Belgrade

Jacksonville, FL, 5.21.24 – The United States Association of Rugby League Inc. (USARL) proudly announces that, for the first time in history, the USA Under-19 Hawks team will compete on the international stage at the European Rugby League U19 Championships. This historic event will take place in Belgrade, Serbia from July 12th to July 21st.

Following a series of competitive onsite camps in Utah, a squad of 20 players, along with 5 reserves, has been meticulously selected to represent the United States. This landmark initiative places USARL at the forefront of international youth Rugby League, underscoring significant developments in the sport’s domestic growth and youth involvement.

George Tupou, USARL Inc. Board member and head coach of the U19 Hawks, emphasized the importance of this moment: "This is a big moment for Rugby League in the United States. The inclusion of the USA in the European Championship in Belgrade marks not just our first foray into international youth test matches, but a pivotal step forward for the sport in our nation."

Tupou further detailed the developmental impact: "The establishment of a youth competition in Utah has been instrumental in the development of our inaugural team. These foundations have not only fostered local talent but have also demonstrated the potential for Rugby League to thrive as a key youth sport throughout the country."

As the team prepares for its debut in July, the support from local communities and Rugby League enthusiasts across the nation has been overwhelmingly positive. Tupou added: "As we prepare for the Championship, our focus is on building from this momentum, enhancing our training programs, and extending our outreach to cultivate Rugby League hubs in more states. This is just the beginning. With the dedication we have already seen from our communities, we hope to elevate the presence of Rugby League in America, ensuring it becomes a staple sport for future generations."

Matt Goschnick, USARL Inc. Chair, also weighed in on the broader implications of this initiative: "Collectively, as a game, we are working hard to create awareness, pathways, and opportunities to advance Rugby League across the United States. Establishing the inaugural USA National Youth Team marks a pivotal milestone and investment in our game, made possible by the relentless dedication, passion, and support of our volunteers."

Goschnick expressed gratitude towards international partners: "I would also like to express our gratitude to our game partners in the European Rugby League and International Rugby League for collaborating with us to realize this youth initiative. In partnership, we and our game, are stronger.”

This initiative follows the successful establishment of a youth competition in Utah, currently the only state in the U.S. with a Rugby League youth competition. These players first demonstrated their talent to a national audience during the domestic 9s season last winter, and at the Las Vegas 9s event hosted by the NRL.

If you or your business is interested in sponsoring or supporting the U19 Hawks, please click this link to fill out an information request form. 


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