By Julian Clarkstone
The White Plains Wombats will be competing in the USARL competition for the first time and will be playing in the Northeast division alongside the 2015 Champions, the Boston 13s, as well as the Brooklyn Kings, Rhode Island Rebellion and the New York Knights.
Their first match is this Saturday and the Wombats will be taking on the Bucks County Sharks at Shark Park (A.K.A. Falls Township Park).
They will have to wait until round three to play their first home match at SUNY Purchase College.
Despite 2016 being their inaugural season, the Wombats have recruited well and are expecting to be competitive as they have a squad with some serious talent.
Matt Walsh is the Captain and a Board Member of the Wombats and is expecting several players to stand up in the club’s first season and even compete for selection in the USARL Hawks side for international matches later in the year.
“Luke Barron has played for the Hawks in the World Cup Qualifying team.”
“Michael Schacter is a working front rower who has excelled playing with the Tomahawks and Arber Cobaj, Charlie Rizzo and Dennis Schmeiler will also press their claim,” Walsh said.
Further to their American talent, the Wombats have recruited Nathan Wales from Australia who can play prop, second row and lock and is sure to provide the team with plenty of knowledge and experience.
“He has played Rugby League since the age of 11 and played for the Northern Pride in the Intrust Super Cup in Queensland.”
“Nathan has a passion for developing the game along with experience teaching Rugby League in schools,” Walsh stated.
Whilst Walsh says that the team is eager to get on the field, there can be no doubt that off the field the pre-season was a success for USARL’s newest side.
The team has brought in several sponsors that have shown their commitment to the growth of Rugby League in the area.
Jack Ryan Concrete, Ron Blacks Beer Hall, Webster Bank, Tiger Wealth Management, Professional Physical Therapy, Harlequin Flooring and Stratford Steel have are all supporting the Wombats, which is a real sign of the dedication that has been put into the organization.
The Board and stakeholders are keen to do more than just make the White Plains Wombats about Rugby League, striving to create a positive environment for the fans and local community.
“As a team we hope to be competitive in all games and aim to make the playoffs but we also want to establish an environment for our players to enjoy and we also intend to support local charities,” Walsh said.
USA Rugby League would like to wish the White Plains Wombats the best of success in the 2016 season and for their long term success in the White Plains region.
White Plains kicks off their season against the Bucks County Sharks on June 4,m 1pm at Falls Park Township in Levitown, PA.