The Queensland Rugby League has denied it has received registrations for any players of Cameroonian nationality from the Ipswich Jets, in response to an investigative report by the Betoota Advocate.
QRL Major Competitions Manager David Maiden said he was aware of several Africans who had featured in the top tiers of the sport in Queensland, but none were from Cameroon.
“We of course have Obed Karwhin at the Redcliffe Dolphins this year, who was born in the Ivory Coast and has Liberian heritage,” Maiden said.
“And Ipswich does have a squad member, Chol Chol, from Sudan, as well as a promising young player in its Under 20s team, Pacific Bakera from Burundi.
“In the past they’ve also had former Broncos squad member Gideon Mzembe (Malawi), but nothing is showing up in our system from Cameroon.
“We are very pleased at the diversity of our competitions and are always welcoming new players of African descent, but we do remind the Ipswich Jets and all other teams of the importance of formally registering any prospective players.”
The multicultural Jets this year boast a squad which also has players of Fijian, American, Scottish, PNG, Samoan, Tongan, Filipino, New Zealand and Indigenous backgrounds.
Ipswich Jets Chairman Steve Johnson said his team had an eclectic attitude to recruitment that extended to all walks and creeds.
“Yes, we even have a couple of red-heads,” said Johnson.
“We’re proud supporters of rangas and I firmly believe you need at least one in every team.
“In fact, I’d go as far as saying we wouldn’t even bother entering a team unless we had a ranga either playing or in the support staff.”
Prominent past players of African descent to appear in the Intrust Super Cup include Selasi Berdie (Ghana) and Chris Enahoro (Nigeria), who both featured for the Tweed Heads Seagulls.
Tweed is also currently home to Gorber Kuwot Chapari (Ethiopia) and Shane Gillham (South Africa).
Peter Lamin from Sierra Leone is rising through the ranks with the Wynnum Manly Seagulls, while Alexander Kriel of the Redcliffe Dolphins is another South African in the ranks.
The most famous Queensland-bred rugby league player with links to Africa is Bulldogs NRL player Moses Mbye, who is part Gambian.
A composite team for players of African heritage, Africa United (pictured), is due to play in the Emerging Nations World Championship in Sydney in October this year.
Organiser Steve Warwick said the team had no current members from Cameroon, but he was working with Cameroon Rugby XIII to assist plans for their domestic competition.
- This is a satirical reply to a satirical original story by the Betoota Advocate, although the facts about African participation in Queensland and the Emerging Nations World Championship are true.