North Queensland Toyota Cowboys old boy Glenn Morrison has joined a growing list of Australians signing on for the inaugural North American Rugby League season, linking with the Cleveland franchise as Director of Rugby League.
Morrison, who played 94 games for the Cowboys between 2000 and 2004, has been tasked with the job of heading up the club’s player recruitment, retention and development as well as upskilling the coaching staff.
“It’s a great opportunity at a brand-new franchise,” Morrison said.
“The people involved at the club are very passionate about rugby league and are keen to try and grow the game in Cleveland.
“As part of my role I’ll provide a playbook for the team and help develop the coaching staff, while also playing a greater role in developing the club in other areas off the field.”
Despite being the competition’s inaugural season there has been plenty of interest from former professional and semi-professional players in Australia and the United Kingdom.
Last month, 2008 Rugby League World Cup winning fullback Lance Hohaia was named head coach of the Austin Armadillos, former Rabbitohs, Tigers and Titans forward Eddy Pettybourne committed to the Brooklyn Kings, while earlier this week ex-Warriors, Sea Eagles and Tigers half Pita Godinet signed with the Atlanta Rhinos.
“As the majority of the local talent has not played rugby league before, I will rely on the imports to help develop the other players and understand the playbook,” Morrison said.
“With each team being limited to only five imports, I’m looking at bringing in experienced halves and hookers to steer the side.
“The spine are the brains of the team and touch the ball more than anyone else, so we need them to be experienced to help control our game.”
Cleveland Rugby League Head Coach and founder Monte Gaddis, who trained under Morrison while playing in England, believes that the former NSW Country representative will have a big impact on the club.
“Since day one I’ve loved his tenacity and passion for the game and I believe Glenn will help our club tremendously,” Gaddis said.
“Glenn’s signing made a big splash in the NARL community and showed the rest of the teams that we mean business.”
The inaugural NARL season kicks off in Virginia on Saturday, June 19, with Cleveland to take on the New York Freedom.