About GRLA

Global Rugby League Academy provides rugby players from emerging countries or areas, associated with the game, the opportunity to develop themselves physically, culturally + academically. We do this in the following ways:

  1. Provide regular playing opportunities by identifying local amateur clubs + college/universities for GRLA players
  2. Identifying trial + training opportunities with professional + semi-professional clubs.
  3. Providing rugby league qualifications accredited by the Rugby Football League (RFL), in both coaching + match officiating.
  4. Providing recognised education opportunities through partnerships with colleges and universities.

Luke Garnett

Founder and CEO, Global Rugby League Academy


Post-16 Postgraduate Certificate in Education
MA Leisure, Sport & Culture
BA (Hons) Sport & Recreation Development
Level 3 Diploma Health & Social Care
Level 2 Youth Work

Work history:

Youth & Community work (Bradford & Calderdale)
Teaching experience with Leeds United Academy, Calderdale College & in various Pupil Referral Unit’s

Rugby league history

Luke started his rugby league playing career at King Cross Junior’s before signing to play with Halifax RLFC Academy in 2000. He decided to pursue his academic career and continued to play for Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett University). It was this decision that provided Luke with the opportunity to participate in the 2005 Student Rugby League World Cup and the 2006 Home Nations for Ireland Students, and the 2006 Great Britain Academic Lions tour to France & Australia. Following on from his time at university, Luke played for Siddal RLFC in the National Conference League Premier Division and was part of the treble-winning team of 2008-09. He also continued his representative career and played for Ireland ‘A’ in the 2007 New Zealand tour and Great Britain Community Lions in the 2008 Australia tour.

Juan Jasso

GRLA Strength & Conditioning


BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching
Post-16 Postgraduate Certificate in Education
PG Cert Strength and Conditioning (working towards MSc)
Advanced Personal Trainer Diploma


Rugby Football League Level 2
Athletics Level 1
BAFCA (American Football UK) Level 1
USA American Football Level 1 & 2
Football Association Level 1

Juan has always been involved in sport in all capacities. He excelled in American Football in which he played high school football for both Brownsville Riviera and Amarillo Palo Duro, as well as playing in the US Army. In his youth he also took part in the US National Junior Olympics in athletics. Alongside all this, Juan has played or coached soccer, baseball, basketball, athletics (track and field), rugby league and rugby union. Indeed, Juan currently holds 4 different coaching qualifications, gaining extensive coaching experience with the New York Red Bulls (soccer) and the London Broncos scholarship scheme (rugby league).

Juan started rugby league at Leeds Metropolitan University while studying for a BSc (Hons) Sports Coaching. At Leeds Met, he assisted with the second team under RFL coach, Paul Fletcher, as well as playing for them. His athletic skill set was well suited to rugby league and instantly fell in love with the game.

He has since completed his RFL Level 2 Coaching award and RFL Match Official award. He is currently waiting to undertake his Level 3 Coaching award.

Juan has recently completed the first year of his MSc Strength and Conditioning. He began working in the fitness industry in 2007 as a personal trainer and, in 2012, worked with the London Broncos scholars on their Strength and Conditioning/Coaching programme.

Juan continues his passion for rugby league at many different levels and is actively involved with the Latin Heat RL, having been the player/Head Coach for Latin Heat (North America) during this year’s USARL international 9’s invitational tournament. He is also assisting with the development of the Mexican Nation RL team. In November 2016, Juan was the official referee for a tri nation tournament between the RL national teams of Argentina, Brazil and Chile – the first international rugby league series on South American soil.

Juan also works as a Sports Lecturer at Calderdale College and was previously an Associate Lecturer for University of Salford and Manchester Metropolitan University delivering on Foundation degree programs.