Fire in the bellies of the Reggae Warriors after debut World Cup

Jamaica Rugby League Team Reggae Warriors Credit: Alamy
Jamaica Rugby League Team Reggae Warriors Credit: Alamy

Jamaica lead coach Roy Calvert says the Reggae Warriors have been left hungry for more after failing to cement a win during their first-ever World Cup.

The Reggae Warriors made history by featuring in their first World Cup at the postponed 2021 tournament, with Ben Jones-Bishop scoring their first-ever try at a World Cup.

Their final group game came to a disappointing 74-12 defeat to Lebanon at the Leigh Sports Village, but they did cross for two tries through Mo Agoro and Jordan Andrade. 

The side have been left with a bittersweet taste after desperately wanting to secure a win during the tournament, also falling to defeats against Ireland and New Zealand. 

“We’re definitely confident that we’re better than we showed today,” said Calvert following the defeat to Lebanon in Leigh.

“We talked about creating a legacy, that’s what this journey is about. We created history by being here, we created history by scoring our first try. And we wanted to create history by securing that first win.

“We just wanted that win so much. It’s all part of the experience. That disappointment lights the fire in the belly to go again in three years.”

Ben Jones-Bishop Jamaica Ashton Golding captain PA Credit: Alamy
Ben Jones-Bishop celebrates scoring Jamaica’s first-ever Rugby League World Cup try

Jamaica’s Reggae Warriors are on the rise

Calvert insisted that Jamaica in the country is on the rise, and his side’s World Cup tournament has inspired the next generation of players.

“I’ve heard the World Cup should only be played by five or six nations, that’s rubbish,” he said.

“Back in Jamaica, we have thousands of young kids who are looking for an opportunity. Rugby league is now offering a genuine opportunity to young people. There are people in Jamaica getting scholarships to go to university to play rugby league and that’s massive for us.

“We want to engage more with the sport here in the UK, too. To pull guys from all over with different cultural backgrounds, that could be a recipe for disaster, but luckily, we’ve grown.”

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