The Lebanese Rugby League Federation has selected a 40-man train-on squad for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup held in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.
The squad features a host of NRL players, Australian-based Lebanese players and five domestic Lebanese players.
The Cedars successfully qualified for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup beating South Africa in October 2015.
The Cedars will take on France, Australia, and England in their return to the World Cup following a 17-year absence from the pinnacle rugby league tournament.
Cedars Head Coach, NRL Legend Brad Fittler, said: “With the NRL season nearing its completion, the players and staff understand the challenge and tough encounters ahead, but having NRL players in the squad will add extra flavour and experience to the squad.
“Lebanon’s strong community support will provide the squad with great confidence in the World Cup.”
The squad will begin preparations in early October, with an international warm-up fixture against Niue scheduled for 14 October in Sydney at Leichhardt Oval.
At least one domestic Lebanese player will be selected for the final 24-man World Cup squad, which highlights the importance that the LRLF places integrating its domestic players into the elite Cedar squad.
Cedars 40-man squad:
Mark Daoud (Asquith), Jamie Clark, Ahmad Ellaz, Abraham el Zakhem, Elie el Zakhem, Adnan el Zbaidieh (Auburn Warriors), Mario Boustani, Chris Saab, Nick Kassis (Blacktown Workers), Kayne Kalache, Michael Lichaa, Raymond Moujalli (Canterbury Bankstown), Imad Chidiac (Jounieh RLFC), Ben Chahoud (Hills Bulls), Wael Harb, Raymond Sabat (Lycans FC), Bilal Maarbani (Manly Sea Eagles), Abbas Miski (North Sydney), Anthony Layoun, Tim Mannah, Mitchell Moses (Parramatta), Adam Doueihi, Robbie Farah (South Sydney), Ali Abou Arabi (Tripoli RLFC), Danny Barakat, Mitchell Mammary, Tarek el Masri, Elias Sukkar (Wentworthville), Alex Twal, Bernard Kairouz, Jaleel Seve Derbas, Christian Yassmin (Wests Tigers), James Elias (West Newcastle), Toufic el Hage (Wolves RLFC)
The squad does not include Josh Mansour, Raymond Maroun (Penrith Panthers), Reece Robinson, Jason Wehbe (unattached), Travis Robinson (Newtown) who are finalising their clearances, Fittler said further players could be added or selected for the World Cup.
The Cedars have been drawn in Pool A of this year’s Rugby League World Cup and will play Australia, England and France during the pool stages, with the top three teams progressing to the Quarter-Finals:
Lebanon vs France, 29 October 2017, Canberra Stadium
Lebanon vs England, 4 November 2017, Sydney Football Stadium
Lebanon vs Australia, 11 November 2017, Sydney Football Stadium