Spain has named a 40-man squad in preparation for October matches against Russia and Spain, in the 2017 World Cup, European Pool B Qualifiers. With the sport having been formally played in the country for only three years, Coach Darren Fisher’s men are aiming to make the finals for the first time.
Adding experience are former French internationals Aurelien Cologni, Mathieu Griffi, Nicolas Munoz and Laurent Carrasco; also in from France is Juan Guasch, son of the Catalans Dragons owner Bernard Guasch; UK Super League Hull FC youngster, Joel Laynez, is in line for his first call-up, and for the rest six Spanish domestic clubs provide representatives.
“So far I’ve had an incredible experience playing for my country,” commented Daniel Garcia, Spain’s international Player of the Year and Players’ Player. “And the journey is far from over. This is a very exciting time for rugby league in Spain, with people talking about the World Cup and the opportunity we have to be on the world stage. These qualifier matches will be a massive test for us, and with the world of rugby league looking to see what we can do, it’s up to put on a good show.”
“Being involved in the World Cup will make us proud, and want to show off all the hard work of the past few years,” added Spain’s Young Player or the Year, Ivan Ordaz, who plays for Irreductibles.
“It will be difficult but we will make it happen. We need to believe, play with passion and enjoy the opportunity to test ourselves against some of the best.”
SPAIN 40-MAN TRAIN-ON SQUAD
Chris Lopez (Army Rugby League), Antonio Puerta, Daniel Moreno, Hugo Fernandez, Isaac Pulgar, Pedro Andujar (Custodians Madrid), Richie Perrello, Ivan Ordaz (Irreductibles), Joel Laynez (Hull FC), Aurelien Cologni, Benjamin Tort, Jordan Boudebza (Lezignan Xlll), Clement Laguerre (Los Gossos), Matias Hubert-Garcia (Nantes XV), Alex Doutres, Cedric Bringuier, Leandre Torres, Nicolas Munoz (Palau Xlll), Kevin Aparicio (Paris XV), Matt Dulley (Paterna Dragons), Miguel Charters-Blanco (Seaton Rangers), Juan Guasch, Mathieu Griffi, Pierre Negre (St Esteve), Gonzalo Morro (Tonneins), Aitor Davila, Aitor Romero, Daniel Morales, Juan Pablo Rango, Raul Simo, Ruben Romero, Vicent Cubes (Torrent Tigres), Remy Bueno (Toulouse Broncos), Adria Alonso, Andrew Pilkington, Antonio Tolmos, Hadriel Mehamed, Luis Thorp (Valencia Warriors), Laurent Carrasco (Villeneuve Xlll), Daniel Garcia (Woolston Rovers)