England Knights v Jamaica - Rugby League International
CASTLEFORD, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 15: Ben Jones-Bishop of Jamaica runs with the ball whilst under pressure from Danny Walker of England Knights during the Rugby League International match between England Knights and Jamaica at Mend-A-Hose Jungle on October 15, 2021 in Castleford, England. (Photo by Lewis Storey/Getty Images)

The Reggae Warriors – Jamaica’s national rugby league team – have announced a final 24-man squad for their first-ever Rugby League World Cup appearance.

The squad features a healthy mix of players from the Super League and Championship, as well as a number of players from the domestic Club Championship.

The team is headlined by Super League veteran Michael Lawrence and livewire outside back Ashton Golding, who both play for Huddersfield Giants. Lawrence in particular has enjoyed a storied career as a one-club man, with the 32-year-old playing 323 games for the club since making his debut in 2007.

Golding, meanwhile, has also enjoyed spells at Leeds, Featherstone and Bradford in his 130 games.

The island nation has also named four newcomers, with Kieran Rush joining Goldling and Lawrence in coming from Huddersfield, while Bradley Ho, AJ Wallace and Alex Young all bringing English lower-tier and Championship experience.

Fourteen members of the squad were on board when Jamaica secured their place in the tournament through the 2018 Americas championship, becoming the first Caribbean nation to book a ticket to the competition.

Though the domestic game still faces many challenges, domestic players will still travel to the World Cup. Of the six domestic players, five are from the championship-winning Duhaney Park Red Sharks, as well as Abevia McDonald, who became just the second player in Jamaican history to sign a professional contract from the domestic competition and now plays for London Skolars.

Despite the history and the importance of their tournament debut, the Reggae Warriors will face a stern challenge at this year’s tournament after being grouped with New Zealand, Ireland and Lebanon.

Jamaica will play a warm-up match against Cumbria on October 7, ahead of their first game against Ireland on October 16.

JAMAICA 24-MAN SQUAD
Greg Johnson (Batley Bulldogs), AJ Wallace (Bradford Bulls), Aaron Jones-Bishop (Cornwall RLFC), Ross Peltier, Keenen Tomlinson (Dewsbury Rams), Chevaughn Bailey, Khamisi Mckain, Andrew Simpson, Marvin Thompson, Renaldo Wade (Duhaney Park Red Sharks), James Woodburn-Hall (Halifax Panthers) Ashton Golding, Michael Lawrence, Kieran Rush (Huddersfield Giants), Bradley Ho, Mo Agoro, (Keighley Cougars), Abevia McDonald (London Skolars) Joel Farrell, Ben Jones-Bishop (Sheffield Eagles), Joe Brown, Alex Young (Workington Town), Jacob Ogden (York City Knights), Jordan Andrade, Jy-Mel Coleman (Unattached).