Spain has named a 40-man squad for their 2017 Rugby League World Cup European Pool B Qualifiers against Russia and Spain in October.
Coach Darren Fisher’s men are aiming to make the finals for the first time, the sport only having been formally played in the country for three years. Adding experience are former French internationals Aurelien Cologni, Mathieu Griffi, Nicolas Munoz and Laurent Carrasco, whilst the son of Catalans Dragons owner Bernard Guasch, Juan, is also included.
Super League Hull FC youngster Joel Laynez is in line for his first call-up whilst six Spanish domestic clubs provide representatives.
Daniel Garcia, Spain’s international Player of the Year and Players’ Player commented: “So far I’ve had an incredible experience playing for my country and the journey is far from over. It’s a very exciting time for rugby league in Spain with people mentioning the World Cup and the opportunity we have to be on the world stage. The qualifiers will be a massive test for us and the world is looking to see what we can do, it’s up to us to put on a good show.”
Spain’s Young Player or the Year, Irreductibles Ivan Ordaz added: “Being involved in the World Cup will make us proud and show all of the hard work has paid off over the past few years. It will be difficult but we will make it happen. We need to believe, play with passion and enjoy the opportunity to test ourselves with 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)