You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Wagga Wagga to World Cup: The proud link Jolliffe has to Ireland

One may ponder how a country boy who grew up in Wagga Wagga will run out for Ireland in this year's Rugby League World Cup in the United Kingdom.

But the solution is simple for Jaimin Jolliffe... and the ability to represent his family couldn't make the Gold Coast Titans prop any more proud as he prepares to travel abroad.

"I'm really excited. Obviously, it's a great chance for me to represent my family and do them proud," he said.

"It'll allow me to just experience a different style of football as well, so I can't wait."

Th 26-year-old's grandmother on his father's side was born and raised in Northern Ireland, which is why he'll don the iconic green Wolfhounds colours at the upcoming tournament.

The honour to do so will also pay tribute to his late great grandmother, who would've been immensely proud to see him continue to represent his family's strong Irish ancestry.

"My nan on my father's side, she was born and raised in Ireland, but moved over when she was about eight or nine from a county down in Northern Ireland," Jolliffe explained.

"That's the link. She didn't spend too much time there and she doesn't have the accent anymore, but if you look at her, she's this little Irish woman with the red hair.

"Playing for Ireland is just a chance to represent her and I know that my great grandmother, she's obviously passed on, but she'd be so proud as well, so it's just a chance to do the family proud."

Among New Zealand, Jamaica and Lebanon in Group C, the hard-running front rower is looking forward to facing off against some of the world's best - especially up against the Kiwis who have been penned as the competition favourites - with a great opportunity to progress through to the semi-finals given their draw.

"It's going to be a big challenge and I think it's going to be a great chance to test myself against some of the best players in the world. We obviously have Lebanon and New Zealand in our pool along with Jamaica," Jolliffe said.

"The Kiwis have probably been the best team in the world at the moment, so just to be able to take the field and go up against some of those guys will be really exciting.

Jolliffe will be joined by Roosters half Luke Keary as the other NRL representative to travel to the Northern Hemisphere, with the pair to depart this Tuesday, ahead of entering camp to prepare for their first clash against the Reggae Warriors on Sunday, October 16. 

"I fly over on Tuesday and when we arrive there, we'll have a couple of days with a bit of light running just to get accustomed to it over there and then we'll jump into it in order to start preparing for Jamaica," he said.

"I think we might be doing a bit of a controlled opposed session against Samoa as well, so it'll just be a chance to sort of put some footy together against a different opposition."

Watch all the Gold Coast Titans in action this Rugby League World Cup via Fox League and Kayo.

Acknowledgement of Country

Gold Coast Titans proudly acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout South East Queensland.