Spain and Serbia play each other for the first time tomorrow as both teams warm up for their 2017 Rugby League World Cup European qualifiers. The game will take place at Quatre Carreres, Valencia, kick off 5pm.
According to Spain head coach Darren Fisher: “The players selected have been a credit in terms of attitude and commitment. We have 10 missing from our recent games and its fantastic 10 more get the opportunity to represent their country.
“We have some on debut, some returning to the squad and a couple of new faces among us. This match is a fantastic opportunity to encourage and support our philosophy of domestic players representing their nation.”
Torrent Tigres provide the most selections and Fisher added: “Preparations have been at their highest as we prepare for the World Cup Qualifiers. Serbia will be one of our toughest and most physical opponents yet and our players are excited by moving up to this level of rugby league.”
Serbia has named a strong squad for the clash, with head coach Ljubomir Bukvić having available all the best players from their domestic competition together with three heritage players added to the mix.
Jason Muranka from Dewsbury Rams debuted last year in European championship B, while NRL Rookie star David Andjelić was part of the setup against Phillipines earlier in 2016 during the SRL tour to Australia.
Their newcomer is veteran Chad Grant from St Clair Comets who is expecting his younger brother, Wests Tigers prop Jordan Grant to join him in the WCQ Group A matches against Wales and Italy. Both Andjelić and Grant spent last week in Belgrade training.
“David gives us energy and Chad experience,” said Bukvić. “Spain is a good test, the result won’t be our focus, we are rather looking at the way we play and our level of conditioning.”
SPAIN 20-MAN SQUAD
Antonio Puerta, Daniel Moreno, Pedro Andujar (Custodians Madrid) Richie Perrello (Irreductibles) Clement Laguire (Los Gossos) Matias Humbert-Garcia (Stade Nantais) Matt Dulley (Paterna Dragons) Gonzalo Morro (Tonniens) Aitor Romero, Daniel Morales, Juan Pablo Rango, Raul Simo, Ruben Romero, Vicent Cubes (Torrent Tigres) Remy Bueno (Toulouse Broncos) Adria Alonso, Andrew Pilkington, Luis Thorp, Hugo Fernandez (Valencia Warriors) Daniel Garcia (Woolston Rovers)
SERBIA 18-MAN SQUAD
Miloš Zogović, Miloš Ćalić, Miodrag Tomić, Vojislav Dedić, Vladislav Dedić (all Red Star), Relja Petrović, Dalibor Samardžić, Stefan Nedeljković, Stevan Stevanović, Aleksa Radić, Dalibor Vukanović, captain (all Dorćol) Vlado Kušić, Džavid Jašari, Pero Madžarević (all Partizan), Đorđe Stošić (Soko Vranje), Chad Grant (St. Clair Comets), David Anđelić (Blacktown Workers), Jason Muranka (Dewsbury Rams).