In Budapest, the teams have begun arriving for the U19s European Championships due to start tomorrow (Sunday). Semi finals follow along with a rankings tournament, with the finals scheduled for 11th August at the Makis Stadium.
All eight nations have now announced their initial match day squads.
Late draftees Ukraine take on one of the favourites Wales. “The squad have trained well over the last two camps and it has been a headache to select our starting squad,” said Wales general manager Steve Jenkins. “We are looking forward to getting it all started.”
“We came to know about our participation rather late and have had little time to prepare, but we will try to show our best game,” noted Ukraine U19 head coach Ihor Yurkin.
In the all-Celtic clash, Ireland take on Scotland. “We have had a really good two days in Budapest,” commented Scotland U19 head coach and Hull KR hooker Danny Addy. “It’s given the lads time to acclimatise to the heat and humidity, a bit of practise time and a chance for the squad to get to know each other even better. We are now looking forward to a really tough tussle with Ireland in what we think will be a great close game.”
Wolfhounds coach Wayne Kelly commented: “It’s been a very difficult task selecting my first playing squad, every single player in the initial 23 has applied themselves well, so some difficult decisions have been made. That being said, I’m excited to see what these lads can offer and how they execute what we have been working on in training.”
Hosts Serbia are keen to make an impression as they take on England in the opening game. Their skipper Vladimir Milutinović said: “It’s a massive challenge for us, playing such a rugby giant like England. We are bit nervous but motivated to represent our country with pride in front our family and friends.”
Opposite number England’s Curtis Teace added: “Preparations so far have gone really well. We have bonded more as a team than previously with a focus on the task at hand – taking each game as and when they come.”
In the final fixture, France face Italy. Tricolours captain Arthur Mourgue commented: “I think we have a great squad. We are ready to play the first game, there is a positive atmosphere in the team and we are all focussed and very excited to play.”
“We are well aware of facing one of the strongest teams in the tournament,” noted Italy U19s head coach Salavatore Pezzano. “We are here to grow and to work looking to the future. I am confident and I believe a lot in this team.”
Sport 1 are set to broadcast matches across Bosnia, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Serbia, with all games to be live-streamed.
ENGLAND U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Liam Kenyon (Blackbrook); George Senior (Dewsbury Celtic); Jake Bradley (Hensingham); Louis Brogan, Calum Coleman, Rob Crompton, Joe Digby (Leigh Miners); Callum Wood (Orrell St. James); Brandon Wood (Rochdale Mayfield); Elias Harrison (Skirlaugh); Ben Shelby (Stanningley); Sam Favell (Thatto Heath); Cameron Hertherington (Walney Central); Curtis Teare (Wath Brow); James Goulsbra-Miller (West Hull); Leon Harber, Gary McMahon (Wigan St. Jude’s); Ben Holmes (Wigan St. Pats).
FRANCE U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Miki Bauer, Leveillé Matthias (AS Carcassonne), Thimoté Bertrand, François Dorce-Hantz, Lucas Emblard, Corentin Rey (SO Avignon), Sébastien Bled, Louis Carré, David De Macedo, Guillaume Gorka, Thomas Lacans, Matthieu Laguerre, Corentin Le Cam, Arthur Mourgue, Barthelemy Rougé, Florian Vailhen (Saint Esteve XIII Catalan), Pierre Fourquet, Matthieu Jussaume, Pierre Jean Lima (Toulouse Olympique)
IRELAND U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Sam Cullen, Ryan Curran, Dan Goddard, Fiach Millward, Conor Smyth (Athy Sharks), Josh Battishill, Andrew Smyth (Belfast Met Scholars), James Cromie (Belfast Stags), Charlie Donnelly (Dublin City Exiles), Jack O’Sullivan (Eastern Rhinos), Sam O’Sullivan (Galway Tribesmen), Joe Togher (Hindley), Luke Findlow (Ince Rose Bridge), James Mulvany, Kevin Varga, Ronan Michael, Shalun Carey (Longhorns RL), Zak Fellows (Midland Hurricanes), Calum O’Neill (Widnes Vikings)
ITALY U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Mattia Saoncella (Comitato Nord Est), Werther Bartolini, Stefano Dalmasso, Nicholas Ferrero, Simone Leotta, Fabio Morosi, Leonardo Raveggi, Davide Signorelli (Comitato Nord Ovest), Citarra Antony Virzì, Leonardo Artale, Antonio Cacopardo, Mario Di Sano, Alfio Laudani, Francesco Mendosa, Gianluca Privitera, Giovanni Rizzo, Giovanni Auriel Sciacca (Comitato Sud), Nico Rizzelli (Halifax) David Arena (unattached)
SCOTLAND U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Elliot Campbell (Barrow Island), Euan Caldwell (Bon Accord Bulls), Matthew Fletcher (Bradford Bulls), Callum Kennedy, Fergus Simpson (Edinburgh Eagles / Newcastle Thunder), Frankie Armstrong, Timmy Kennedy, Jamie McCabe, Sean McKervail, Gregor Mitchell, Alex Williams (Edinburgh Eagles), Dan May (Halifax Elite Academy), Charlie Emslie, Connor Terrill (Millom ARLFC), Chris Paterson (Newcastle Thunder), Jack McMillan (Queensbury ARLFC), Connal McDonagh (Strathmore Silverbacks), Iain Oakley (Wakefield Trinity), Adam Hay (Wallsend Eagles)
SERBIA U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Jai Smith (Brothers, Queensland), Matthew Dragišić (Canberra Raiders), Veljko Stanković (Car Dušan Silni Paraćin), Dorotej-Dado Arnold, Marko Janković, Ilija Krstić, Marko Šatev Aleksandar Štefulj (Crvena Zvezda), Matija Mihajlović, Marko Simović (Dorćol), Daniel Marjanović (Kawana Dolphins, Queensland), Stevan Ivanković, Vladimir Milutinović, Mihajlo Stojiljković (Partizan), Zane Bijorac, Zane Marolt (Queanbeyan Blues, Canberra), Vuk Tomić (Radnički), Marko Jakovljević, Mihajlo Tomić (Radnički Beograd)
UKRAINE U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Anton Bolshakov, Daniil Chervynskyi, Anton Piatnytskyi, Andrii Shelepovskyi, Vitalii Puchkov, Denys Maiorov, Kyrylo Usik, Yevhen Chernykh (Donetsk region), Mykyta Ivchenko (Legion XIII, Kharkiv), Liubomyr Beznoshchuk, Vladyslav Osipov (Ivano-Frankivsk), Dmytro Vasylyshyn, Vladyslav Rudov (Khmelnitsky, Burevіsnyk), Daniil Hapon, Volodymyr Brodovskyi, Oleksandr Petrenko, Maksym Shvets, Oleh Kunynets, Bohdan Matsiuk (Sokil-Tigers, Lviv)
WALES U19 19-MAN SQUAD : Adam Young (Aber Valley Wolves),, Benjamin Hunter, Jake Cannon, James Bartlett (Cardiff Blue Dragons), William Lynch (Leigh Miners Rangers), Cai Ellis, James McGurk (Newcastle Thunder), Jacob Hitchcox (North Wales Crusaders A), Finlay Swift (Pilkington Recs), Elliot Jenkins (Rochdale Hornets), Mathew Jones, William Mills (Salford Red Devils), Lewis Hall (Warrington Wolves), Aneurin Walker, Ellis Simon, Fraser Stroud, James Smith, (West Wales Raiders) Billy Glover (Widnes Vikings)
Opening fixtures – Sunday 5th August
Serbia v England (2pm)
Ukraine v Wales (4pm)
Ireland v Scotland (pitch 2 – 5.30pm)
France v Italy (6pm)