Jamaicas’s newly-qualified World Cup team is planning a trip home to the Caribbean to begin shoring up support for England 2021.
There were rapturous scenes in Jacksonville on Saturday night when the Reggae Warriors qualified for their first Coup de Monde by outlasting the United States 16-10.
But most of Jamaica’s internationals since their 2009 inception have been away because of commercial reasons. According to captain Joe Brown, that has to change.
“There are plans, we’ve had brief talks about it, going over to Jamaica because a lot of us have never even been,” said the Newcastle Thunder centre.
“Hopefully integrate with the schools and things like that. That’s stuff I’m a big believer in - spreading the word back home. If we’re in this World Cup we’ve got to make it a legacy, not short term. Financially, make Jamaica a strong rugby league nation.”
Brown has also sounded a warning to Super League stars hoping to jump on the bandwagon after the hard work of qualifying for the World Cup has already been done.
“What Ashton Golding and now Ben Jones-Bishop have done for us as Super League players…they’ve paved the way. The lads who have put us there, they’re going to have first right of refusal in my eyes.
“Obviously we need the best players available but they’re going to have to buy into what we’ve done. There’s lads who’ve done everything to play for their country … financially and sacrificing a lot.
“For the lads who haven’t put up their hands and now we’re in a World Cup want to put up their hands, they’re going to have to show they’re willing to do it for the long term not the short term.”