Parramatta Eels star Reece Robinson and his brother, Melbourne Storm three-quarter Travis, have been named by Lebanon coach Darren Maroon in the Cedars’ 20-man squad that will jet off to Pretoria on Monday to play in the sport’s first-ever Middle East Africa World Cup qualifier.
Both last played for Lebanon in 2009 and look set to be part of a speedy backline that also features Newtown full-back Daniel Abou-Sleiman and which will be guided by halves James Boustani and Mark Daoud.
Lebanon, which has missed out on the last two World Cups in 2008 and 2013 on points difference, is determined to replicate their presence at the 2000 tournament and Maroon will rely on a tried and tested forward pack, including the likes of veterans Chris Saab and Ray Moujalli.
The squad has been given a rousing message by Canterbury Bulldogs director Arthur Coorey, who was born in Kfarsghab, north Lebanon, and whose son Richard debuted for Lebanon in the front row against Malta in May.
“Play tough, hard and an uncompromising style of football,” said Coorey. “Remember that Lebanese men are gladiators, we play till the end. Play well and the doors of opportunity will open for you.”
LEBANON 20-MAN SQUAD
Mark Daoud (Asquith Magpies), Jamie Clark, Richard Coorey, Ead Kassem, Elias Sukkar (Auburn Warriors), Chris Saab (Guildford Owls), James Boustani (Hills), Ray Finan, Robin Hachache, (Immortals RLFC), Travis Robinson (Melbourne Storm), James Elias (Newcastle Knights), Daniel Abou-Sleiman, Ahmed Ellaz, Tarek El Masri, Ray Moujalli (Newtown Jets), Reece Robinson (Parramatta Eels), Nick Kassis, Mitchell Mamary (Wentworthville Magpies), Wael Harb (Wolves FC), Adham El Zbaidieh (Unattached)