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Honor James

European Championship C squads (Merged threads)

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Coach Matthew Ashill has named a 26-strong train-on squad a month ahead of Greece’s bow in official international competition when they play away to Malta on 28 June.


“All the selected players are looking forward to their first match in the European Championship,” said Hellenic Federation of Rugby League president Tasos Pantazidis. “Some of the selected players are experienced but most of them have only played rugby league for the last 9-10 months.”


Two players from Australia, Adam Bouris, who was full-back in last October’s first-ever international, a win over Hungary, and James Sui Denva have been named in the group and may be joined by two more players from Sydney to stiffen the squad. 


The domestic representatives are drawn from two distinct areas, Athens and Rhodes with, unsurprisingly, the biggest contingent – 10-strong - from the island’s Knights who were recently crowned inaugural Greek champions after an unbeaten season.


“The campaign is not going to be easy,” continued Pantazidis, “We want to remain in Euro C, so the objective is to win at least one match. Malta is not an easy opponent. They are experienced, with good players so they are the favorites and we respect that.


“Official international matches are one of the best ways to motivate players to become better, and this European Championship competition has given us that opportunity.”



Giorgin Shyti (AEK Kokkinias), Aris Dardamanis, Nikolaos Kanellopoulos, Emmanouil Katalaktakis, Thomas Lymperios, Dimitrios Minadakis, Ioannis Roussoglou, Ioannis Valassas (Aris Petroupolis), Pandeleimon Arfaras, Theodoros Ananias, Stefanos Bastas, Nikolaos Bosmos, Mihail Chatziioannou, Nikolaos Chatzinikolaou, Michail Giorgas-Spanos, Konstantinos Kotiadis, Panagiotis Lampousis, Alvaro Zota (Knights of Rhodes), Konstantinos Lambrakis (Neapoli Lakonia), Ioannis Nake, Indrit Shakaj, George Stilianos (Pegasus Neos Kosmos), Liam Sue-Tin (Pine River Bears), Panagiotis Karefilis, Grigorios Koutsibogiorgos (Promitheas Rendi), Adam Bouris (unattached)

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Malta Rugby League national team coach Anthony Micallef launched his team's upcoming summer campaign today together with members of the national team and First Utility Super League Super League club London Broncos.

London Broncos back-rower Jonathan Wallace joined recently appointed Broncos head coach and former Malta coach Joey Grima along with Malta international Sam Keep and Malta vice-captain Clifford Debattista who both flew over from Malta for the announcement.

Malta will enter European Championship C this year and their commitments kick off next month when they host Greece at home, three weeks later the 22 in the world ranked Maltese travel away to Havlí'k'v Brod for their away clash against the Czech Republic.

Malta coach Micallef announced a 40-man squad which includes three Super League players, one Queensland Cup player and 25 players from the Maltese Championship that kicked off in earnest last week between Sliema and reigning premiers Malta Origin, the reigning premiers adopting the Panthers moniker after receiving a kit donation from the NRL club over the off-season.

Micallef downplayed talk of labelling Malta as tournament hopefuls despite announcing three professional players in his squad. "It's always nice to recognise these players that are doing some amazing things on the highest stage, but we have to look at the bigger picture. I would love to have all of them available, but whether that happens even just in one game is yet to be seen," he said.


"I've named a squad that recognises a large group of the best of what we have available in our respective leagues, both in Malta and abroad, and it will be down to the 17 that take the field to get the job done, not one or two individual players. There's no doubt that a number of players can and still may force their way into the final squad over the next month of the Maltese Championship. Things will hot up and it will get very competitive but it's a good problem to have."

The Broncos Jonathan Wallace debuted for Malta 18 months ago against Denmark when the Maltese recorded a 74-12 win in Copenhagen and Super League's new kid on the block said it was an honour he is looking forward to replicating, saying: "It was great to make my debut almost two years ago. A lot has changed in the time since, and obviously now I will have Super League commitments to contend with, where I am hopefully selected in the Super League team, but I also hope to be in the mix for the Maltese team.".

Sam Keep, who has made three national team appearances and plays with Malta Origin RL, said the Maltese Championship was coming on and it was great that Rugby League had spread to the Mediterranean island in recent years. "I grew up in Wigan," he said, "and played juniors there, but with my grandparents being Maltese, I moved over there a few years ago, have settled there and recently welcomed our first child into the family. I'm really grateful that Rugby League kicked off there some five years ago and we can play the greatest game, even away from the heartlands."

Joey Grima is one of the men who helped kick off Rugby League in Malta with its first game back in 2005, and the recently appointed Broncos head coach says the dream was always that the game would be played on the islands.

"We set out on the cause from a small meeting room in Western Sydney back in 2004, and it's great that the game is now thriving in Malta, BARLA and other English teams regularly heading over there for training camps and the fruits of Maltese Rugby League are being shown on the bigger stage too with five players across the NRL and Super League, and many more in the lower grades."

Malta host Greece at Melita FC on June 28 and are away to Czech Republic on July 12.

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Czech Rugby League finalise train-on squad for European Championship C

Czech rugby league player/coach David Lahr has reduced his 50-man initial training squad to 28 for the European Championship C match with Malta in mid-July, after three training sessions in recent weeks, each over five hours in duration.
“The atmosphere is very good,” Lahr said. “We have had some great sessions and there are three more to come. It is tough but the guys are trying hard and the strength in depth is shown by who we are leaving out. The forwards are betting among themselves who can lose the most weight!”
“It will be a good experience to play against Malta and Greece but I think we can cause a surprise,” he added.
Included for the first time are teenage three-quarters Patrik Koliska – a highly rated winger from Chrudim Rabbitohs - Vít Čáslavka and Pavel Grim, while much is expected of novice hooker Jiří Pecina and prop Karel Hudec.
Richard Gach is back after playing in France, where he studied for a year while Michal Kučera and Jiří Sluka, who were in the national side from 2006 -09, have been re-called.
Eight clubs have players in the trimmed-down squad, Mikulov Roosters the most with six and, as part of the final selection process, Czech ‘A’ will face the national U20s on 28th June in Vrchlabí

Czech RL Squad:

Antonín Berk, Jaroslav Bžoch, Václav Fischer (Teplice Dragons)
Otto Friedl, Karel Hudec, Michal Kučera, Petr Šedina, Jiří Válek, Pavel Zemánek (Mikulov Roosters)
Pavel Grim, Jan Hovard, David Lahr, Adam Bjelka (Mad Squirrels Vrchlabí)
Ladislav Cintler, Richard Gach, Jan Heininger (Slávia Hradec Králové)
Kamil Havel, Milan Pešout, Filip Špaček, Vladimír Mach (Orli Havlíčkův Brod)
Pavel Mejstřík, Jiří Sluka, Jiří Suchopár (Lokomotiva Beroun)
Jiří Novák, Tomáš Ričica (Pardubice Jets)
Vít Čáslavka, Patrik Koliska, Jiří Pecina (Chrudim Rabbitohs)

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