Italy World Cup representatives commit to Championship clubs for 2023

Italy World Cup representatives Anton Iaria and Richard Lepori have committed to their respective clubs for 2023.

Iaria has signed a new one-year deal with Barrow Raiders, having first joined the Raiders ahead of the 2022 campaign.

The prop had previously featured in Australia for Penrith Panthers’ NSW Cup team and Queensland Cup side Easts Tigers, who are Melbourne Storm’s feeder club.

Iaria made 31 appearances for the Raiders this year, scoring six tries before being named in Italy’s squad for the Rugby League World Cup, starting each of their three group stage matches.

The 26-year-old has hailed his time in Cumbria so far.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time with Barrow this year, and it was a really easy decision to come back,” Iaria said.

“The club, the fans and everyone else involved have treated me really well.

“It’s such a tight-knit community where everyone really supports each other. From the day I landed, everyone was so supportive and wanted the best from you.”

Meanwhile, Lepori has signed a new deal with Barrow’s rivals Swinton Lions.

Since joining the club partway through the 2019 season, the winger has scored 19 tries in 39 appearances.

Lepori featured in the World Cup for Italy, and was also named as the Coaches’ Player of the Year at the Lions’ recent 2022 awards night.

Upon signing his new deal Richard said: “I’m really pleased to be staying at the club and I believe we are heading in the right direction.

“I’ve enjoyed my time at Swinton so it was an easy decision. I’m hoping to help the team on and off the field and stay in the Championship.”