Germany host Holland in Osnabrück on Saturday in the fifth, annual Griffin Cup series between the nations. The Dutch have yet to register a victory but last year were defeated only 8-6 and have benefitted from their burgeoning domestic programme in the interim.
The Nationaler Rugby League Deutschland has named a 24-man squad following the conclusion of their inaugural Steeden BundesLeague played between Ruhrpott Rhinos RLFC, Ostwestfalen, Northern Devils and Grüne Jäger.
“The Griffin Cup is an expression of the close contact between the nations,” said Bob Doughton, joint-coach of the German national team. “Our squad contains players who have only played in our domestic league and the competition for places has been strong. The fact that some of our guys have also played in Holland for Amsterdam Cobras gives the match a new twist,” he added.
Dutch head coach Kane Krlic, noted: “We are looking forward to playing Germany again, matches between us always provide an intense contest. We’re excited with the squad we’ve selected, it shows continuity from last year’s team together with the inclusion of a group of new players that have all performed outstandingly in the NRLB Championship. With seven of them under the age of 22, it’s a credit to the development of the game in the Netherlands over the last three years.”
Krilic names six debutants including, for the first time, a heritage player in Coventry Bears’ front rower James Geurtjens.
GERMANY 24-MAN SQUAD
Presley Chirombe, Benedikt Esser, David Ziekursch, Marc Zupan (Grüne Jäger), Liam Bons, Benni Böse, Henning Brockmann, Karsten Brüning, Jannek Hagenah, Florian Frede, Renko Flemming, Maurice Verstraten (Northern Devils), Adam Barrass, Zak Bredin, Eddie Briggs, Philip Hunz, Todd Johnson, Raphael Tokona (Ostwestfalen), Mawuli Amefia, Liam Doughton, Kyrill Goncharev, David Greiner, Joshua Leutenecker, Vivian Seelweger (Ruhrpott Rhinos RLFC)
NETHERLANDS 20-MAN SQUAD
Ciaran Jaras, Daan van Rossum, Marijn Steenland (Amsterdam Cobras), James Guertjens (Coventry Bears), Bonne Wilce (Den Haag Knights), Benji van Bodegraven, Gydo van den Heuvel, Santino Landus, Arie-Tjerk Razoux Schultz, Daniel de Ruiter, Ruben Stuifzand, Hans Verveer (Harderwijk Dolphins), Hannes Bavius, Taco de Boer, Gijs Braanker, Uri Breman, Ben Dommershuijsen, Shadan Lavia, Edson Neves, Thijs van der Zouwen (Rotterdam Pitbulls)