England vs Lebanon RLWC 2017

 

By Brian Lowe, Date: 31/10/17 (Photo Credit NRLPhotos)

Venue: Sydney Football Stadium, NSW, Australia

TV Kick-off time: Saturday 4th November 2017, 8pm AEDT

England head coach Wayne Bennett has named a strong starting side for the Round 2 match against Lebanon in the Rugby League World Cup.

The English desperately need a win this weekend or their hopes of RLWC 2017 glory will be dashed.

England is aiming to bounce back from a first round defeat by Australia and is targeting the Lebanese as the patsies to make that happen Saturday in Sydney.

Bennett has called up Alex Walmsley in a move to beef up the interchange bench.

On the other hand, Lebanon is brimming with confidence after its solid victory over France in the opening round and coach Brad Fittler has shied away from making too many adjustments.

The Cedars’ NRL big three are back in the starting team.

Robbie Farah at halfback will again combine with five-eighth Mitchell Moses in a pairing Lebanon hopes can rival England’s halves Luke Gale and Gareth Widdop. The Cedars’ combination gave the French all sorts of palpitations, particularly in the second half last weekend.

Prop Tim Mannah will also add some much-needed grunt up front for the Lebanese. Those three will need to be at their best, however, if Lebanon is to pull off a win very much against the odds.

By rights, England should take this one out as they have an abundance of NRL and Super League talent in their squad, but as France found out the hard way, Lebanon cannot be discounted.

This is Lebanon’s first Rugby League World Cup since 2000 and already they have surpassed previous performances by posting their first ever RLWC win.

The flipside is that while Great Britain has won RLWC championships in the past, the English have been bridesmaids when competing as a single nation. England though is a proud Rugby League nation and nothing short of clinching a spot in this year’s final will be acceptable to its faithful.

However, in light of their opening round hiccup, this is now a must-win matchup for the English and regardless of who it is, whenever the pressure is on to win, mistakes can happen, and Bennett will be acutely aware of that.

England 2017 RLWC Team:
1 Jonny LOMAX
2 Jermaine MCGILLVARY
3 Kallum WATKINS
4 John BATEMAN
5 Ryan HALL
6 Gareth WIDDOP
7 Luke GALE
8 Chris HILL
9 Josh HODGSON
10 James GRAHAM
11 Ben CURRIE
12 Elliott WHITEHEAD
13 Sean O’LOUGHLIN (c)
14 Alex WALMSLEY
15 Chris HEIGHINGTON
16 Thomas BURGESS
17 James ROBY

18 George WILLIAMS
19 Mike McMEEKAN
20 Mark PERCIVAL
21 Stefan RATCHFORD

Lebanon 2017 RLWC Team:
1 Daniel ABOU-SLEIMAN
2 Travis ROBINSON
3 Bilal MAARBANI
4 Adam DOUEIHI
5 Abbas MISKI
6 Mitchell MOSES
7 Robbie FARAH ©
8 Tim MANNAH
9 Michael LICHAA
10 Alex TWAL
11 Chris SAAB
12 Ahmad ELLAZ
13 Nick KASSIS
14 Mitchell MAMARY
15 Raymond MOUJALLI
16 Jamie CLARK
17 Jason WEHBE

18 Elias SUKKAR
19 Anthony LAYOUN
20 Andrew KAZZI
21 James ELIAS

 

 

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