The USARL announce two appointments for their national team, the Hawks. Danny Hanson, Team Manager and Ben Kelly, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach (In-Country).
Danny (pictured left) who has been long associated with rugby league in the USA, will liaise with Chairman, Peter Illfield and the USARL Board on the administration, communication, logistics and player/coaching staff requirements for the Hawks in their expected journey to the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Part of that journey is the Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers for the America’s in the last quarter of 2015.
Danny Hanson commented on his appointment as Hawks Team Manager, “It is an amazing honor and opportunity to be the team manager for the Hawks. As a former player, coach, and current club administrator, I’m looking forward to ensuring all details are handled for training and matches while also creating communication, cohesion, and team spirit among players and staff.”
Ben will support the Hawks Strength & Conditioning Coach, Sean Rutgerson, who is stationed in Australia as coaching staff of the NRL West Tigers. Sean is not expected in the USA until the final preparation stage of the Hawks for the 2015 RLWC Qualifiers. Ben will plan, implement and monitor strength and conditioning programs for all domestic players who consider themselves worthy for national team selection.
When asked about the Hawks preparations for qualifiers ahead Kelly added, ”I am excited to prepare the lads for the challenge of winning the World Cup qualifier on the road to The 2017 World Cup. ‘My aim is to have every USA Hawks Rugby League player be efficient in the Olympic Lifts (Power Snatch and Power Clean) along with Powerlifting (squat, Deadlift, Pressing), and having basic Gymnastic skills (pull-ups/ dips/ Muscle Ups) while having great Mobility to play our dynamic explosive sport.”
The USARL’s focus is on preparing their domestic players for the 2017 RLWC. During the Qualifiers later this year, the domestic players will be enhanced by a minimal number of heritage players from other countries. Once the RLWCQ’s have been confirmed, the USA are hopeful of playing lead-up test matches against Canada in the months prior to the Qualifiers. The Hawks, in those test matches against Canada, prior to the Qualifiers, will be solely those players selected from the USARL’s national competition. Those matches against Canada are reliant on the confirmation of dates for the RLWC Qualifiers.
The test matches and qualifiers provide the greatest opportunity for domestic American rugby league players to get their chance to represent their country. Those who are playing in our national competition are being watched every week on their performance by three excellent coaches. The in-Country preparation of the national team will be the responsibility of Peter Illfield, overall Coaching Co-ordinator and fellow observers Ben Kelly in the NE and Wayne Forbes (JAX Coach) in the SE.