France and qualifiers Italy have named their squads for the U19 European Championships, to be held at the Makis Stadium, Belgrade from 5-11 August. The winners go through to the semi finals and the losers play in ranking matches.
France U19 head coach Jean-François Albert admitted he was spoiled for choice. “For a trainer it is always difficult to leave people out,” he said. “But after final trials at the port of Barcarès, we now have our 21 players.”
Jason Goffin (Villeneuve), Alexandre Gay (St Toulon) and Clement Tailhades (Albi Rugby League XIII) miss out, with 12 selected from St Esteve XIII Catalan, who are linked to Super League side Catalans Dragons.
“The 21 lucky ones have their eyes riveted on the tough games ahead in Serbia,” Albert added. “We are determined to lift the trophy.”
If France start as the favourites, Italy are outsiders but that does not concern their U19 head coach, Salvatore Pezzano. “We come to this tournament with a great desire to get involved,” he commented, adding of their first up fixture with the French: “We are well aware of having to work hard for the first race, but the guys are very determined and willing to work.”
His squad contains youngsters from Castleford and Halifax.
“As a Federation we have worked a lot with these young people because they represent the future of our movement. I am convinced that it will be a formative experience for them and for us too. Personally, I am very confident.”
FRANCE U19 SQUAD
Miki Bauer, Mathias Leveille (AS Carcassonne), Timothe Bertrand, François Dorce-Hantz, Lucas Emblard, Corentin Rey (SO Avignon), Sebastien Bled, Robin Brochon, Louis Carre, David De Macedo, Guillaume Gorka, Thomas Lacans, Matthieu Laguerre, Corentin Le Cam, Arthur Mourgue, Barthelemy Rouge, Hugo Salabio, Florian Vailhen (St Esteve XIII Catalan), Pierre Fourquet, Mathieu Jussaume, Pierre Jean Lima (Toulouse Olympique), Jason Goffin (Villeneuve)
ITALY U19 SQUAD
Joseph Fella (Castleford Tigers), Mattia Cantoni, Stefano Cenci, Andrea Piccoli, Mattia Saoncella, Simone Snidar (Comitato Nord Est), Werther Bartolini, Stefano Dalmasso, Nicholas Ferrero, Simone Leotta, Fabio Morosi, Leonardo Raveggi, Davide Signorelli, Paolo Viani (Comitato Nord Ovest), Citarra Antony Virzì, Leonardo Artale, Antonio Cacopardo, Mario Di Sano, Alfio Laudani, Salvatore Lipera, Francesco Mendosa, Gianluca Privitera, Giovanni Rizzo, Giovanni Auriel Sciacca (Comitato Sud), Nico Rizzelli (Halifax)
Opening fixtures – Sunday 5th August
Ukraine v Wales (kick off 15.30)
Ireland v Scotland
Serbia v England
France v Italy