By Phil Caplan, Date: 6/8/12
The Lebanese Rugby League Federation has announced the 18 players that will face Canada at the Lamport Stadium in Toronto on Saturday August 11.
The Cedars will do battle with the Canadian national team for the first time in their second trip to North America, after their 2000 world cup qualifier in Florida, way back in 1999. The squad will depart Beirut in the early hours of Tuesday morning and return a week later.
Canada is currently 21st in the Rugby League International Federationâ€™s World Ranking, while the Cedars are 14th.
The local players have been going through their paces at various venues throughout Lebanon. The squad will feature 14 domestic based players while the other four will fly out with head coach David Bayssari from Australia and meet up with their teammates in Canada.
The visible difference with this squad is that more than half will be on their debut international tour.
Tour manager Remond Safi has complete faith in the new look squad, â€œWe are looking towards the future and we believe it is the right time to introduce new blood to our national team. We are confident that the players we have selected will make us proud.â€
LEBANON SQUAD 18-MAN SQUAD
Abrahim Al Zakhem, Toni Sassine (Hurstville United), Mazen Knio, Robin Hachache (Immortals RLFC), Roger Tohme, Pierre Nasr ( Jounieh RLFC), Mohamed Akar (Redbacks RLFC), Michael Elias, Elie Hdayed, Riad Khoury, Mohamed Merheb, Mikhael Moubarak, Gaeton Osman ( Tripoli RLFC), James Boustani (Wentworthville Magpies), Andrew Kazzi ( West Tigers), Mounir Finan, Nemer Saliba, Raymond Finan( Wolves RLFC)