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Tomahawks include Cantoni in squad

IN scenes reminiscent of Shane Webcke's 2000 NRL grand final appearance, Tomahawks' backrower Mark Cantoni will make his World Cup debut just one month after breaking his arm.
Tomahawks include Cantoni in squad
by rleague.com

By Chris Garry

IN scenes reminiscent of Shane Webcke's 2000 NRL grand final appearance, Tomahawks' backrower Mark Cantoni will make his World Cup debut just one month after breaking his arm.

Cantoni, a bulldozing second rower who is on annual leave from his surveying job in Queensland, has been selected in the Tomahawks 19-man squad to face the Kangaroos.

Saturday's quarter final clash against the tournament favourites in Wrexham will be Cantoni's final game in a code he has played in France, Queensland, New South Wales and America.

Cantoni was shattered when he broke his arm in the Tomahawks' thrilling victory over France in Toulouse in their World Cup warm-up in late October.

While outside of the camp many wrote the 34-year-old's tournament off, a sheer will to compete for USA drove Cantoni to attempt a comeback.

On Saturday his hard work pays off.

Tomahawks' captain Joseph Paulo, who will face Parramatta Eels team mate Jarryd Hayne on Saturday, said it was this team's bond that had spurred them to a never-imagined quarter final against the Kangaroos.

"You can tell there is something special about this team," Paulo said.

"We are not here for money.

"The morale here... you can tell we will be mates for life. This is built on hard work and we are all fighting for something. We are here playing for each other.

"We are ambassadors for the game at the World Cup and for America."

Paulo said he knew Hayne would be picked in the team because he had not been texting him recently.

"I was actually trying to see if he was still coming to my wedding, but he hasn't replied lately so I figured he must be picked," Paulo said.

"I know how gifted and talented he is and it is great knowing he will be out there playing against us."

USA Tomahawks squad to face Australia: Mark Cantoni, Bureta Faraimo, Kristian Freed, Michael Garvey, Roman Hifo, Danny Howard, Stephen Howard, Joel Luani, Clint Newton, Mark Offerdahl, Joseph Paulo, Matt Petersen, Eddy Pettybourne, Craig Priestly, Tui Samoa, Matt Shipway, Les Soloai, Loto Tagaloa, Taylor Welch.






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