Two-time World Cup winner Brad Fittler has been appointed head coach of international minnows Lebanon.
The 45-year-old, who played for Australia 40 times and won the Golden Boot in 2000, will oversee the country’s World Cup campaign, which pits them against England, France and the Kangaroos.
“The opportunity to guide a developing nation to this year’s Rugby League World Cup was one that I’m eager to take up,” he said.
“I also look forward to going to Lebanon to provide knowledge to assist them further develop their well-established local championships.
“Lebanon’s draw is the toughest possible – France, England and Australia have over 300 years of history, against Lebanon’s 15. However, I know the Lebanese are clever, hardworking, courageous and industrious, and will no doubt be up to any challenges, as they have proven in rebuilding their nation and in the positive contribution their diaspora has made throughout the world – with no better example than in Australia.
“The thing about history is that there are moments which can turn it in certain directions. This is our opportunity to be part of history and to continue making a social impact on Lebanon’s civil society through rugby league.”
LRLF CEO Remond Safi hailed the appointment.
“Brad’s appointment shows that the LRLF continues to pursue excellence of standards and is confident of competing in the World Cup behind an elite coach,” said Safi.
“The LRLF was really pleased with the calibre of candidates who applied for the role, but Brad’s ability and desire to engage with the Lebanese rugby league community, not just the national team, has been the most pleasing aspect of our discussions. On behalf of the LRLF, I would like to welcome Brad on board and we are all really excited about working with him.”