Animal rights activist and proud vegan Matt Cama will be out to show you don’t need to eat meat to compete when the Independent Gaming International Rugby League Nines are held this Saturday, January 28.
Cama is among five debutants picked to herald the GYG Latin Heat Rugby League’s first major event of 2017, held at Cabramatta in western Sydney.
Cama qualifies for the team via his mother’s birth in Uruguay – a country famed for its extravagant asados (barbecues).
However the forthright speedster is adamant that he lives a happier life without being carnivorous – and has a budding career as a YouTube personality, personal trainer and motivational speaker, where he endorses healthy lifestyle choices and rails against animal cruelty.
He is the brother of Latino regular top-liner Nicholas Cama, who has had to withdraw from the event due to a conflicting DJ performance.
Others in the frame to debut for the GYG Heat are Colombian Seb Martinez, Ecuadoran Will Gomez, Salvadoran Miguel Gonzalez and Chilean Alvaro Avaria.
Martinez was previously a junior representative teammate of North Queensland Cowboys player Patrick Kaufusi and former Bulldogs talent Patrick Templeman.
He was raised in Bundaberg after arriving from Colombia at the age of 10 and only recently finished a Masters of Physiotherapy.
Outside back Gomez has been a strong performer in the past 12 months for both Ecuador and the Latin Heat Development squad, with his all round game earning him a call-up to the top tier.
It’s a similar story for Tuggeranong Buffaloes utility Gonzalez, who was a standout on a losing side when El Salvador faced Chile in the first 13-a-side match between Latin American teams in 2016.
Youngster Avaria is another rewarded for his efforts, having played a strong hand in Chile’s defence of its GYG Latino Nines title in October.
This weekend’s Nines at Cabramatta will also see the return of two old favourites in Peruvian veterans Jye Sommers and Sean Day.
Both have spent time away from the squad since early 2016 and have not played for the Heat since being part of a 54-16 victory against Thailand Stars in Canberra.
A finalised draw for the International Nines is expected to be announced by the Rugby League International Federation in coming days.
The efforts of the 100% volunteer-run Latin Heat Rugby League are supported by Guzman y Gomez Mexican Taquerias, S.H.I.E.L.D Security, Tattoo Tears, OneBigSwitch.com.au, Cast Graphics, SeriousAboutRL.com, Retrocom Digital TV Specialists, Colombianos en Brisbane, EMSA Education and Migration Services, Raw Juicery, SEMCAR Mechanics, Lichtnauer and Associates Accountants, Cabramatta Ink, Majestic Property Maintenance, musician Royal El Latino and Darkside Studio Photography.
GYG LATIN HEAT teams for INTERNATIONAL NINES at Cabramatta, Saturday 28th January:
ELITE: Daniel Aguirre Acevedo, Alvaro Alarcon, Alvaro Avaria, Matt Cama, Juan Carlos Carrion, Sean Day, Nick Doberer, Will Gomez, Miguel Gonzalez, James Horvat, Jaden Laing, Sebastian Martinez, Kevin McKenzie, Daniel Navarro, Jye Sommers, Eduardo Wegener.
DEVELOPMENT: Eugene Araya, Fredy Arteaga-Figueroa, Steven Azzopardi, Josh Betros, Chris Brantes, Javier Britos, Patrick Caamano, Mana Castillo-Sioni, David Goyeneche, Issac Guerin, Jose Martinez, Rafael Mendoza, Gabriel Papa, Beau Sanchez, Jaxson Uzabeaga.