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Meet the USA Rugby League World Cup captain … and organic food entrepreneur

Mark Offerdahl grew up in Australia, played club rugby in France and Wales, became an entrepreneur in London, and is about to captain USA at a World Cup

By Gavin Willacy for No Helmets Required, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Mark Offerdahl will skipper USA at the Rugby League World Cup, which kicks off in Australia on 27 October, when the hosts take on England in the opening match. Having played in five different countries – Australia, France, Wales, England and the US – Offerdahl is a well-travelled professional and not the stereotypical rugby player. I met up with him in his west London home soon after he had been told he was being released by London Broncos. Meet Captain America…

What do you make of your opponents in the World Cup group stage: Fiji, Italy and Papua New Guinea? Very, very tough – a lot harder than last time. I think Fiji or Italy will be a class above. Italy’s squad are all NRL players: it’s nuts. Fiji are going to be good. They’ve been semi-finalists in the last two World Cups. Them having Jarryd Hayne will hopefully get us some exposure. And PNG are going to be tough over there. But I’m really excited. I can’t wait to get over there.

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