Taylor Welch

Not only did the Rugby League World Cup put the American side on the map but it has brought about a host of new opportunities for their players, with Taylor Welch becoming the latest to join a professional rugby league side.

After the likes of Bureta Faraimo and others joined various sides around the world, Welch will join the Oxford rugby league side after his impressive showings at the World Cup.

Welch, just 24, is a product of the Warrington Wolves Academy and enjoyed stints in both rugby league and rugby union in France and the USA.

The move is one that excites Welch, with a former team-mate in Alex Thompson playing a role in the utility back signing at Oxford.

“There were a few options out there after the World Cup but Oxford really caught my eye,” said Welch.

“Luckily my good mate and old team mate Alex Thompson played here last season. I really respect his opinion and he sold the idea of Oxford to me. After speaking with Tony, it just felt like the right place to be. I can’t wait to get involved and start the season.”

The World Cup was an invaluable experience for all the Americans that played in it and for Welch, he learned about team spirit, sticking together as a team and just wants to enjoy playing footy at Oxford.

“I don’t think about what I can bring… I see it more what I’ll get from being there,” said Welch.

“A bunch of talented players here and very good coaching staff, it’ll only do me a world of good to learn from them and help to improve myself. I’ll be giving everything I have in the tank every game though and aiming to be a difference maker out there.

The biggest thing I’ve learnt during the World Cup is just play the game as a team, stick to what we do best and it doesn’t matter who we’re playing, the score will come! The never give up attitude.”

“I’m really excited about this season. We’ve got a strong squad and are very serious about winning which I love. I am personally looking forward to earning my spot within the team and I have got to earn the jersey spot first.”

The club themselves are excited to have him on board, with coach Tony Benson admitting that they have watched him for a while and are pleased to get him given his versatility.

“I have been trying to get him for a while, and I watched him closely in the World Cup where he played in the centres. He impressed me and looks versatile,” said Benson.

“He is a really good kicker and has a fantastic kick return too. He’s physically strong and quick and has the experience we are looking for to take us to another level. He also has good ball skills which will benefit us on our big pitch at Iffley Road.”

By ricky

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