Spain Announce RLWC Qualifier Warm-Up Match v Serbia
Spain and Serbia will meet for the first time as both nations prepare for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup European Qualifiers this autumn.
They are in different pools, and as they will both attempt to reach the final stages of the tournament for the first time, they will play an international fixture as part of their build-up on. The match will take place on 24 September, kick off 5.00 pm, at Quatre Carreres, Valencia, the venue for Spain’s home qualifier against Ireland the following month.
Spain coach Darren Fisher commented: “We are really pleased we have secured this match, it will be a pleasure to welcome Serbia to Spain as we both put our preparations together for the World Cup Qualifiers in October. We have a very good relationship with the Serbian players and staff and it’s great to finally play one another in what promises to be a great contest.
“We know the Serbians will be very physical and well-organised, and it is ideal for us to get used to that style as we prepare to face the highest standard in our short history. For me it’s a great opportunity to select a domestically-based squad and offer them a test at the level required for the qualifiers. I shall be giving debuts to several new players and it will be exciting to see how well they contribute,” he added.
Serbian RLF general secretary, Slobodan Mank commented: “We are very glad that Spain has answered our call for this match. We want to prepare as best as we can because we have high hopes of qualifying for the next World Cup. It will be a good test for our boys to see where we stand now.”
The Serbians will be led by head coach Ljubomir Bukvic after Darren Higgins has had to stand down from the post.
“We regret that Darren is no longer coach of the national team,” said Mank. “Unfortunately he could not fit his professional and personal commitments together with the obligations needed for the Serbian national side. We would like to thank him for all he has done to raise the standard and we wish him all the best in the future.
“Darren has put in some long lasting structures which we will benefit from. Serbian Rugby League is in now talks with potential candidates for the National Coach position and we hope to announce his replacement soon.”