Malta Rugby League 5/9/2009
Gateshead Thunder prop forward Chris Parker has been named in the train-on squad for Malta’s upcoming home international against touring English amateur club, Bamber Bridge.
The 27-year-old forward, a Gateshead Storm junior, was the Thunder’s most improved player in 2008.
“Getting the call up to represent Malta is a great honour. It will cap off a great season for me, getting my first taste of Championship rugby, getting to the quarter finals of the Challenge Cup and now getting the chance to play International rugby” said Parker of the call up.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting up with the boys out in Malta and I’m hoping to impress the coach and become a regular in the squad for future fixtures”
RLEF Malta Development Officer and Malta caretaker coach Anthony Micallef said “Luke Branighan (Malta international and current Gateshead Thunder player) told me about Chris being eligible for Malta. Chris then got in touch with us (Malta Rugby League) and I’ve been keeping tabs on his progress”
“We’re certainly looking forward to having Chris’ services available to us and he will play a big part in our team on October 3”
Micallef said the Gateshead Thunder prop would become only the second current professional to represent Malta following Penrith Panthers NRL star Jarrod Sammut.
“Chris becomes a part of the Malta Rugby League at an exciting time in its early development, but these fixtures, starting with the October international, are part of the World Cup preparations which we are working to be a part of in the coming years”
Micallef said the third British tour to the Maltese Islands this year would be a special occasion on many levels and not only for the Gateshead debutant.
“Malta’s opponents will use the tour and match as a part of their club’s silver anniversary celebrations on the island. It will be the 25th anniversary of the Bamber Bridge club but there is no doubt that the Maltese will be out to spoil their party”
Malta’s 36-man train-on squad includes Penrith Panthers fullback Jarrod Sammut, dual Malta rugby international Ryan Borg, and the Sharks and Gold Coast Titans contracted Dane Snelson and Guy Borgas.