A 19-man tour group representing English Colleges has arrived in the Czech Republic to play two games against the Czech Under-20s in Vrchlabí.
The first match is tonight (Friday, 18:00 kick-off) with the second on Sunday (14.00 kick off) after which there will be an official, commemorative dinner.
The tour celebrates a landmark for the CZRLA as they celebrate their 10th birthday and national coach Antonin Berk noted the significance.
“This is an important year for us,” he said on the tourists’ arrival.
“We have established a junior competition which is very important for the development of Rugby League in the Czech Republic. We played our first Under-20s international in 2012 and lost 70-0 to BARLA Youth from the UK – for many players that was their first real taste of the sport – but last season beat Latvia Under-20s twice, which is a measure of our progress.
“We know these games will be a really tough challenge but it is what we need.”
English College Lionhearts’ squad sees players selected from 11 colleges, having had regional trials, a two-day residential camp and a tough fixture against Scotland Under-19s.
Coach James Massara said, “We have worked hard to prepare as a squad, the players have set themselves high standards. I am sure that the tour will be a successful and we will achieve the objectives we have set as a group.”
Czech Under-20s squad
Filip-Daniel Kittl, Antoním Berk, Patrik Zendeli (Dragons Krupka), Patrik Koliska, Jaroslav Koliska (Rabbitoh), Roman Wais, Daniel Uhlíř (Lokomotiva Beroun), Tomáš Valenta, Aleš Pour, Martin Kubát, Lukáš Mejvald, Jan Zámrský, Jakub Hudrlík, Michal Matyska (Mad Squirrels Vrchlabí), Adam Vojtěch, Jan Říha (Slavie Hradec Králové), David Štastník, Roman Prokop, Lukáš Pinc, Milan Pešout (Orli Havlíčkův Brod), Roman Strbačka (Roosters Mikulov)
English College Lionhearts
Adam Reading (St Mary’s)
Alex Jobson (Hopwood Hall)
Billy Gaylor (Calderdale)
Bradley Spriggs (Bishop Burton)
Brandon Mcintosh (Hopwood Hall)
Charlie D’Arcy (Bishop Burton)
Daniel Makin (Wigan Warriors Education Academy)
Fraser Boldy (Gosforth Academy)
Hakan Cimen (Runshaw College)
James Wright (Bishop Burton)
Jarrod Simm (Mysercough)
Jordan Baldwin (Calderdale)
Jordan Syme (Calderdale)
Joshua Stafford-Smith (South Gloucester and Stroud)
Kyle Hayes (Wigan Warriors Education Academy)
Luke Stephens ( The Crypt)
Michael Handol (Calderdale College)
Sam Mason (Hopwood Hall)
Tom Egen (New College Pontefract)