The Rugby League World Cup Qualifiers are getting closer by the minute, with the USARL Hawks now assembled in Jacksonville.
Whilst the majority of the team have traveled from their homes throughout America, a handful of the squad are making slightly longer trips, flying over from Australia and England.
Sam Carson is one of the 7 heritage players in the 20-man USARL Hawks squad. Although only 20 years of age, Carson measures in at 6’4″ weighing 225 lbs and currently represents the Norths Devils in the Queensland Rugby League (Australia) and he qualifies for the Hawks through his mother (Gabrielle), who is an American citizen.
“My mum travels on an American Passport, she’s classed as an American living abroad. My Grandfather was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and lives in Las Vegas,” Carson said.
Carson will be representing his family when playing for the Hawks and is hoping that his extended family will be able to watch the team in action. Naturally, his parents are the ones most proud of his achievements, gaining as much pleasure from the selection as Sam has.
Sam’s father, Lincoln said “Gabrielle and I are ecstatic that Sam has been selected in the Hawks squad. He’s worked and is still working hard on his game, he’s a great young man”.
Whilst he is yet to play his first match for the Hawks, Carson is not new to representative Rugby League. Sam’s father is of Australian Indigenous heritage and Sam has been chosen in Indigenous representative sides. He is versatile forward that focuses on delivering strong performances for 80 minutes.
“I base my game on work rate, whether it’s offense or defense I’m always working hard, pressuring the opposition into mistakes,” Carson stated.
Whilst Sam will have more playing experience than many of his team mates, he is still seeing his selection as an opportunity to develop his game. This is only going to be strengthened by the presence of Leeds Rhinos coach and the new USARL Hawks coach, Brian McDermott.
“I thought being selected for the USA was amazing, then to find out I’m going to be coached by Brian McDermott, that just topped it off.”
“I’ve got two weeks to get as much as out if his coaching as I can, it can only help my game and the Hawks chances of inclusion in the 2017 World Cup,” Carson said.
After seeing the footage from the Colonial Cup matches, Carson can see the improvements and growth that is occurring for both USA and Canada Rugby League. The growth of the sport in both countries can only be compounded by World Cup Qualification, making next month’s Qualifiers even more pivotal to success of each of the countries long-term.
“I think there is a huge market in the US for Rugby League, but success in the game breeds interest. Hopefully qualifying for the next World Cup will boost the game’s image,” Carson explained.
2005 was when Sam lasted visited the US at just 10 years of age. He will arrive in Jacksonville a few days before camp and will hopefully see more of what this great country has to offer.
USARL are excited to welcome Sam Carson to the team and would like to wish him the best of luck for his debut with the Hawks.