Knights teen sensation Dom Young is set to play for Jamaica at the end-of-season World Cup in England after being among the new faces named in a train-on squad by Reggae Warriors coach Romeo Monteith.
Young, who will make his third NRL appearance for the Knights on the wing in Saturday's match against the Warriors in Newcastle, has Jamaican heritage and both he and brother Alex committed to play for the Reggae Warriors after a meeting with former dual-code superstar Jason Robinson.
The 19-year-old back will become the first NRL-based player to represent Jamaica and Monteith told NRL.com he was helping to raise the profile of the game in the Caribbean nation while inspiring other young players to want to represent Jamaica.
Monteith said Young, who moved from Huddersfield to Newcastle this season on a three-year contract, was also attracting support for the Knights in Jamaica.
“We are really happy to have Dom and his brother, Alex, on board,” Monteith said. “He is a really good young talent and I think that he will bring something special to the team, and that will be the case for many years to come as he is only young.
“Dom has been on Zoom calls with the group so that is good, that he is making the effort to join with the time difference and everything.
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“He is doing well in the NRL so far and his career will continue to grow. He brings some awareness not just for himself in Australia but also for the Jamaica national team.
“Having Dom in the NRL is a huge inspiration to the domestic players and finally gives people in Jamaica a team to support in Australia, just as many follow the English teams with Jamaican players.”
Other members of the Jamaica squad include experienced Castleford back Jordan Turner and Hull KR’s Luis Johnson, who are set to represent the Reggae Warriors for the first time in a World Cup warm-up match against Greece on October 5.
Young’s brother Alex, who is at Workington, is also in the train-on squad, along with the 17 English-based players who helped Jamaica qualify for the World Cup when winning the Americas Qualifiers in 2018, including Huddersfield’s Ashton Golding.
Huddersfield team-mate Michael Lawrence has also been named, while there are 14 players from the Jamaica domestic competition.
“We have named a strong train-on squad which gives us coverage in all positions,” Monteith said from Kingston. “Only 24 players can make the final cut and so I know everyone will want to put himself in the best position to be selected.
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“For the first time we have adequate options in the halves and our forwards are looking to have depth. Our backs have always been our strength and we will again have plenty [of] options there.”
Jamaica, who will be based in Leeds, are scheduled to play Ireland on October 24, New Zealand on October 30 and Lebanon on November 7.
With plans for a mid-season Test against Wales during next weekend’s stand-alone representative round falling through due to COVID-19, Robinson has helped organise a training camp for Jamaica’s English-based players.
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