Spain and Russia have announced their 19-man squads for the opening game of European Championship B in Quatre Carreres, Valencia tomorrow (Saturday, kick off 3pm CET), the tournament also doubling as a qualifier for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
The nations have met once before in the same competition, in 2016, the Russians triumphing 40-6 in Moscow.
The hosts have named nine debutants - Juan Mudarra and Rafael Garcia from Custodians RL, Miquel Tomas of Torrent Tigres, highly rated youngster Francisco Luis Perez who plays for Mineros Peñarroya – Pueblonuevo, Carlos Font of Xativa Roosters, Valencian Warrior Miguel Olivares, and Luc Franco, Anthony Delgado and Romain Palleres who all ply their trade in France.
Spain head coach Darren Fisher commented: “This week we have achieved a level of professionalism going into camp, it’s gave us a rise in motivation levels. The players have been ready to work hard, listen, learn and adapt quickly to what’s ahead.”
Fisher continued: “The squad has bonded really well, especially with new faces around us which is important as we are developing and creating new interest across Spain. We know Russia are a front-foot side.”
The bulk of the Bears’ selection come from champions CSKA of Moscow. Spartak player Andrey Lavrushin commented: “Our team was reunited more than month ago for the first time and we started to prepare. A lot of hard work has been done, big changes have happened in the structure of the team. There is unbelievable honour for these matches.”
The game will be live-streamed at https://www.youtube.com/user/leymabasketenglish/live
SPAIN 19 MAN SQUAD
Anthony Delgado (Carcassone), Rafael Garcia, Juan Mudarra, Antonio Puerta (Custodians RL), Chris Lopez (Eastmoor Dragons), Luc Franco (Limoux), Francisco Luis Perez (Mineros Peñarroya – Pueblonuevo), Daniel Garcia, Alex Doutres (Palau), Hadriel Mehamed, Daniel Morales, Aitor Romero, Raul Simo, Miquel Tomas (Torrent Tigres), Romain Palleres (Toulouse Olympic), Kevin Aparicio (Unattached), Miguel Olivares (Valencian Warriors), Adriá Alonso, Carlos Font, (Xativa Roosters)
RUSSIA 19 MAN SQUAD
Igor Abramov, Kirill Bozhko, Dmitrii Leskov, Vladislav Lesnikov, Aleksander Lysokon, Aleksander Naumov, Iustin Petrushka, Ivan Troitskiy, Denis Tuilenev (CSKA), Denis Chupin, Ilia Danilov, Veacheslav Eremin (Dynamo), Boris Voloskov (MIFI), Igor Chuprin (Olimp), Evgeniy Orlov (Sparta - Kostroma), Andrey Lavrushin, Andrey Perin, Dmitrii Tarasenkov (Spartak), Sergey Konstantinov (c) (Vereya)
6 Oct 2018 - 15:00
Quatre Carreres, Valencia
13 Oct 2018 - 15:00
Fily Stadium, Moscow
20 Oct 2018 - 14:00
Makis Stadium, Belgrade