Not only will it increase the profile of Australian rugby league in general, but the increased exposure for the Indigenous talent that Australian rugby league has to offer will be on show, with an Australian Indigenous side to play in the rugby league Nines tournament in Philadelphia in May.
Dan Randall, who is the team organizer, was originally set to play for the Philadelphia Fight (an American-based side who will also be playing in the tournament), before deciding to create his own team – a move that the USARL supported.
The Indigenous side, whilst not yet released in full, is expected to be a strong contender in the tournament, with the team to come up against rival players from all over the world.
With the USARL in full support of Randall’s decision, and the opportunity to show the world just how good Indigenous talent can be, Randall is looking forward to the tournament.
â€œChairman Peter Illfield and Ryan McGough were all for me trying to bring a team over so weâ€™re now looking to showcase our culture and our football ability,â€ Randall said.
â€œThere arenâ€™t too many indigenous Rugby League teams that tour overseas, so this will be a good opportunity. Plus itâ€™s to experience the US and the way they play footy,â€ he continued.
The side will boast some experience with former NRL player Yileen Gordon to be in the side, as well as Australian Rugby Union Sevens player, Arthur Little.
With the side not very familiar with the USARL structure or team, the one thing the Indigenous side does not want to do, is underestimate their opponent.
â€œWe donâ€™t want to take anyone lightly,â€ Randall said.
With the tournament promising to be fiery, frenetic and explosive, the Indigenous side are hopeful that they can put on a show and make a statement.
â€œIâ€™d also like to let the other sides know we are there to win and not a holiday, so Iâ€™ve put together a very talented side,â€ Randall said.