Cronulla rookie Ronaldo Mulitalo has been selected to represent the United States for the inaugural World Cup 9s tournament, as reported by NRL Media.
After scoring five tries in eight appearances the winger is suspended for Cronulla’s finals match against Manly on Saturday but on Wednesday was selected for USA’s 20-man squad.
Though New Zealand-born, the 19-year old qualifies for selection through his American Samoan descent.
Mulitalo isn’t the first Shark to represent the States with ex-Cronulla man Joseph Paulo having captained captained USA at the 2013 World Cup.
Coach Sean Rutgerson has also recruited Jay Florimo, son of North Sydney legend Greg, for the USA squad.
Jay has previously played NYC for Wests Tigers and now for The Entrance on NSW’s Central Coast.
“Jay’s mother was born on a US army base in Germany to an American father,” Rutgerson said.
“I tried to get in contact with him last year, was unsuccessful but was told when I took over that he was eligible.”
“He actually finally got back to me on Facebook Messenger recently and I got him to send all his stuff.”
The USA Hawks have called up Junior Vaivai (Rabbitohs and Panthers) and Eddy Pettybourne (Souths, Tigers and Titans) alongside Mulitalo as the only members of the squad to have NRL experience.
Also called up and set to make his debut is prop Brock Davies who previously tried out for the NFL’s New England Patriots.
The Hawks have a tough group ahead of them at the World 9s with Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
The tournament will be held at Sydney’s Bankwest Stadium over the 18th and 19th of October.
USA Hawks Squad
David Washington (Jacksonville)
Charlie Jones (Jacksonville)
Khalial Harris (Jacksonville)
Brandon Anderson (Brooklyn)
Jamil Robinson (Brooklyn)
Marcus Satavu (Brooklyn)
Conner Donehue (Brooklyn)
Ryan Burroughs (Nova)
Bureta Faraimo (Hull)
Cory Makelim (Sheffield)
Danny Howard (Wentworthville)
Jerome Veve (Souths Logan)
Kristian Freed (Wests Mitchelton)
Jay Florimo (The Entrance)
Eddy Pettybourne (Central Queensland)
Joe Eichner (Northern Pride)
Mark Offerdahl (Goondawindi)
Junior Vaivai (Toulouse)
Ronaldo Mulitalo (Cronulla)
Brock Davies (Brooklyn)