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Honor James

Nordic Cup - Oslo 2014 (Merged threads)

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This month sees rugby league’s fourth Nordic Cup kick off with the three competing nations – Norway, Denmark and holders Sweden - better prepared than ever.


All three governing bodies have agreed to seek international status for the matches, which would mean the contests being played for world ranking points.


Sweden head coach, Ashley Brown, who led them to their first silverware last year commented: “We will be hosting Norway and then looking to be the first nation to claim back-to-back Nordic titles when we travel to Denmark in August. We are looking to continue to build the sport in the country on the back of our exploits.”


Norway – the 2012 winners - has strengthened by re-engaging the services of former head coach Craig West, currently with the Catalan Dragons in Perpignan, who led the Vikingene in their 2011 European Shield campaign.


“I’m really looking forward to working with the squad and improving structure,” he said. “No doubt Sweden and Denmark will be tough opponents but I believe we have the quality to regain the trophy.”


Denmark, the inaugural holders, should be stronger since the emergence of two new domestic clubs which have given local players more opportunities to play the sport.


“The 2014 tournament is very nicely poised,” noted Danmark Rugby League Forbund secretary Richard Naylor. “Each of the nations has won the Nordic Cup once so far. We have now gone longest without success, so we will be giving our all to take the title back.”



28 June: Norway v Denmark

16 August: Denmark v Sweden

30 August Sweden v Norway

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The Danish Rugby League Forbund (DRLF) have announced their initial train-on squad ahead of the first Nordic Cup tie against Norway in Oslo on the 28th June 2014.


While there are several familiar faces, such as talisman Eugene Hanrahan, there is also an influx of youth with highly-rated teenagers Christoffer Ellebirke and Malipo Birunga Yusufu included for the first time. 


Selection follows the recent DRL Championship final which saw Copenhagen Black Swans defeat Jylland RLFC, 26-14 in Randers.


Reflecting on the squad, DRLF vice-President, Kristina Landsperg said: “We are excited about the new young players coming through. The recent contests between Jutland and Copenhagen and forged new skills and we look forward to the highest standard of play ever in the Nordic Cup.”


Denmark Squad:


From Copenhagen RLFC (9)

Ungureanu Andrei
Christoffer Ellebirke
Eugene Hanrahan

Herbert Mulipola

Joshua Whitehead

Morten Dam

Rich Groom

Silas Mubanda

Thomas Tilsted


From Jylland [Jutland] RLFC (12)

Anders Kiel Ankerstjerne Sørensen

Jonas Damgaard Harreskov

Justin Eyles
Malipo Birunga Yusufu
Mark Nielsen
Neil Smith
Orveh Melchior Jr
Paul Healy
Tom Søgaard Bonde
Viiga Lima

Zanki Nicolajsen

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Oslo Capitals provide the bulk of the Norway squad picked to face Denmark in the opening game of the 2014 Nordic Cup in Oslo this weekend, while Lars and Nils Haigh are two of three representatives from Saddleworth Rangers.


Coach Craig West is back on board for the tournament having worked with the national side in 2011.  “I’ll be interested to see the progress the country has made in the last three years,” he commented. “Rugby league in Norway is still very young in this mentally-tough sport but we are looking to build on the enthusiasm in the country.”


“I also hope to bring the team a modernized structure without overcomplicating things," he added. "Attack is of course a very important part of the game and to have players that can score a try from anywhere on the field offers the threat of winning a game. But a side that has a well organised defence will always be victorious.”


“The match with the Danes will show us where we stand and what we need to modify. We can then use that knowledge gained to prepare for the tie against holders Sweden at the end of August.”


Norway squad for Nordic Cup 2014

Magnus Sundsfjord (Bodo Barbarians), Christian Brakstad Glendrange, Harald Mikalsen, Kristoffer Milligan, Lloyd Omdal (Flekkefjord Tigers), David Hunter, Sonny Mellor, Sindre Sundby (Flisbyen Broncos), Henrik Edvardsen, Peter Engeland, Hans Frøhaug, Bastian Fromm, Joshua Hornby, Bent Johansen, Cameron Leslie, Alex Mbala, Erlend Meldalen, Nick Palmer, Bjorn Pettersen, Trent Rowan, Isaac Schmidt, Jorgen Schmidt, Andreas Thorsen (Oslo Capitals), Kevin Batnes, Matthew Davidson, Kai Holm, Emil Lunde, Freddie Ostvold (Porsgrunn Pirates), Lars Haigh, Nils Haigh, Tommy Hilton (Saddleworth Rangers)

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[crossed fingers]

Good luck to them!

[/crossed fingers]


It is a good squad and we know they will be good.  The Danish team is less tried with many new faces, we will see how it goes.

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