Rugby League World Cup Preview: USA

The second last of the previews is the American RL side, the USA Tomahawks. Boasting several local players and some international players, they have started their trials well but can they take that form into the World Cup itself?

Mark Cantoni (Dalby), Andrew Durutalo (USA Eagles), Bureta Faramio (Mackay Cutters), Gabriel Farley (Southampton Dragons), Kristian Freed (Racing Club Lescure), Michael Garvey (Pennsylvania Bulls), Roman Hifo (Papakura Sea Eagles), Daniel Howard (Wentworthville Magpies), Stephen Howard (Tuggerong Bushrangers), Judah Lavulo (Cabramatta), Haveatama Luani (Wests Tigers), David Marando (Belrose Eagles), Ryan McGoldrick (Salford Red Devils), Clint Newton (Penrith Panthers), Mark Offerdahl (AS Carcassone XIII), Joseph Paulo (Parramatta Eels), Junior Paulo (Windsor Wolves), Matthew Petersen (Cudgen Hornets), Craig Priestly (Southampton Dragons), Tuisegasega Samoa (Redcliffe Dolphins), Matthew Shipway (South Newcastle), Les Soloai (Featherstone Rovers), Lelauloto Tagaloa (Hawaii Chiefs), Taylor Welch (Chicago Griffins)

Head coach: Terry Matterson

With NRL players such as Joel Luani, Joseph Paulo and Clint Newton, coupled with other veterans such as former NRL player Matt Petersen, the USA Tomahawks boast an experienced side.

With some very good talented local players and some American-born players playing in various leagues around the world such as the QLD Cup or other competitions, the core of their side will be one that can progress from their group.

Coming up against Wales and the Cook Islands, two teams that boast very solid sides themselves, the games will be intense but the way the Americans have so far played in the trials would indicate that they will be the ones to advance.

With that said, however, the Americans may lack a big-game player at crucial times of the competition and that may hamper their chances of progressing beyond the knock-out stages.

Overall, the side has a decent mix of players with experience and budding stars and you would expect the Tomahawks to finish in their group strongly and make the knockout rounds.

Here’s the side I’d go with:

1. Kristian Freed
2. Taylor Welch
3. Loto Tagaloa
4. Michael Garvey
5. Matt Petersen
6. Joseph Paulo
7. David Marando
8. Eddy Pettybourne
9. Joel Luani
10. Les Soloai
11. Matthew Shipway
12. Clint Newton
13. Roman Hifo

14. Stephen Howard
15. Judah Lavulo
16. Mark Offerdahl
17. Craig Priestly

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