Ahead of the domestic Grand Final, to be held in Rotterdam, 7th July, the Netherlands Rugby League Bond head coach, Kane Krlic, has announced his 24-man squad for the nation’s upcoming internationals.
The Orange are due to take on Germany, in Rotterdam, on 1st September, then head to Gothenberg to face Sweden on the 22nd.
“I felt it was important,” said Krlic, “to reward the group of talented players who form the bulk of this new squad, after winning our first Test matches in the eleven years since our formation, last year, by beating Germany and Sweden.
“I am really excited; not only to see how much they have improved by being exposed to a higher level of domestic rugby league this season, but to see what a sprinkling of newcomers may add. This is a really young squad.
“When I took over as coach four years ago, we made a conscious decision to make the domestic competition our priority,” he added, “and I believe we are beginning to see the fruits of that.
“We are growing the game organically. The player pool has increased and the standard has risen each year.”
Prior to the internationals, however, the NRLB Grand Final between Amsterdam Cobras and Den Haag Knights will determine the first national champion; while the Third Place playoff will see Rotterdam Pitbulls face Harderwijk Dolphins – who, incidentally, have the most representatives in the national squad.
Netherlands Rugby League Bond 24-man squad
Adam Braksator, Thieu Heuijerjans, Daan van Rossum, Joran Schoenmaker, David Schram (Amsterdam Cobras); Paul Dirkzwager, Lucas Gout, Robbin van Wijk, Bonne Wilce (Den Haag Knights); Benji van Bodegraven, Gydo van den Heuvel, Rick Huther, Santino Landus, Daniel de Ruiter, Arie-Tjerk Razoux Schultz, Ruben Stuifzand, Hans Verveer (Harderwijk Dolphins); Hannes Bavius, Ben Dommerhuisjen, Patrick Funk, Shadan Lavia, Isaac Ngirubiu, Dominic Stuivenberg, Emerson de Werk (Rotterdam Pitbulls).