“We pride ourselves on never giving up”: Rush on Jamaica

12 Mar 23, 11:11AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Mark Cosgrove/News Images

Kieran Rush was recently a part of the Jamaican national team squad as the Reggae Warriors made their Rugby League World Cup debut.

Their first game was against tournament stalwarts Ireland who handed Jamaica a 48-2 loss but Rush still managed to make history as he scored the penalty goal that gifted the Reggae Warriors their first points ever in the World Cup.

Not only was Rush proud to create history, but he was also proud to simply be a part of his nation’s first World Cup fixture.

“It was an amazing experience for myself and my teammates to showcase Jamaican Rugby League on the world stage,” Rush told Everything Rugby League.

“Despite the result I thought we learned a lot about ourselves as a group and where we need to improve and keep progressing.

“Scoring the first points for Jamaica in a World Cup was something I will never forget and the roar from the crowd when the kick went over was amazing.”

Rush then went on to recount the experience of the tournament as a whole, having fond memories of the World Cup even though the Reggae Warriors did not win a game.

“Overall I was happy with how our World Cup campaign went,” said Rush.

“We were in a really tough group with three well-established teams who have Super League and NRL talent throughout their squad.

“Although the results didn’t go our way we pride ourselves on never giving up which showed in the games.”

Rush then revealed what he and many others believe to be Jamaica’s defining moment at the World Cup.

“Bish [Ben Jones-Bishop] scoring our first try against New Zealand was a special moment that I think none of us will ever forget,” Rush stated.

While the last World Cup was a joyous occasion for Jamaica, the national team is serious about qualifying for the tournament in 2025 which will take place in France.

“I think it was apparent in our performances that we were happy but we’ve still got a long way to go before our next set of games in the World Cup qualifiers at the end of this year where we are looking to secure qualification for the 2025 World Cup in France,” said Rush.

Whilst he has certainly made a name for himself for Jamaica and will look to cement his place in the national team later this year during the World Cup qualifiers, his first his goal is to establish himself as a Super League player.

The 20-year-old is contracted to the Huddersfield Giants but has gone out on loan the past two seasons but in 2023 is looking to make his competitive debut for the Claret and Golds.

“In 2023 I’m hoping to make my first team debut for Huddersfield,” revealed Rush.

“I feel like I improved a lot last season, getting valuable game time at Rochdale and playing in the World Cup improved my game a lot.

“There’s a lot of competition in the squad at Huddersfield this year with some great players so I’m hoping I can get my foot in the door and I’ll take the opportunity with both hands whenever it may come.”

Rush then reiterated how much he is looking forward to the World Cup qualifiers at the end of 2023.

While some dream of playing overseas or winning a specific competition, Rush’s long-term goal is simple, win a trophy at some point during his career.

“I think every player would say this but my long-term goal is to win silverware,” Rush started.

“I just need to keep working hard and learning from the more experienced guys at Huddersfield to keep making steps in the right direction.”

Hopefully, by the end of this year he will have multiple caps under his belt in Super League with Jamaica primed for another World Cup appearance.

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