Africa United Ready To Step Up

On the continent of Africa there are a grand total of 55 nations, of which 12 will be represented by the pioneers of African Rugby League, Africa United, at the Emerging Nations World Cup, they are; Cameroon, Congo, Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Egypt, Ghana, Liberia, Mauritius, Nigeria, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda.

Steve Warwick explains how everything started "I was one of 2 people who started concept, I run a local junior club in the regular season which I also founded in 2007 and was at one point more than 50% African kids some who are still with me, In 2011 we organised an off season 7 aside competition for U/14 and U/16. A good friend of mine from the NRL, Steve Meredith, was there and noticed a number of African boys in the 16’s age group he approached me and said “do you think we could get a team of African boys to play in the 2012 Redfern ATP Harmony 9’s.”

"My reply was “We can try.” And that was the day it all began to come together, Steve Meredith had planted the seed and I ran with it went on to field 16’s and 18’s in Harmony events ever since."

From there Africa United grew and grew, Steve stating "The senior team was started in 2016 when we saw a need to provide opportunity to players who had passed the age of 18 and could no longer play in Heritage events that were only available at a junior level, we now have a girls team along with the seniors who were started in October 2016. In February this year fielded an entire Sudanese team in the Cabramatta International 9’s alongside Africa United and under our banner."

While Africa United is still in a developing stage, they do have some stand out players and danger men, Steve Warwick picking out just a few names you can expect to see "Obed Karwhin (Ivory Coast) played 2 seasons with Wests' Tigers now based in QLD plays in the backs, big, strong, runner of the football. Fairouz Elkander (Sudan) played 20’s for Penrith and Parramatta, played this season with Wentworthville another strong player with a big fend, versatile playing in the backs or forwards. Bill Benjamin (South Sudan) 2017-18 Blacktown Workers Sea Eagles, big, strong, running winger, plenty of speed. Moung Dut (Sudan) Canterbury Bankstown U/20’s player, very smart plays in the halves. Stemon Mow, captain (South Sudan) Plays in the back row, big, strong, enjoys the high work load.

Miracles are not expected from this side and the focus is mainly on exposure and development which embody the values of the Emerging Nations World Cup. "Expectations are not that high given this level of competition is still new to us and logistically bringing together players who travel large distances to play is a hard ask but the players will do their best in their games. We lost 2 forwards who originated from South Africa who arranged a test match against Italy on the 12th of Oct Leaving our forward strength a bit short We will debut a few of our younger players a bid step for them but they should handle it fine."


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