Spain head coach Darren Fisher has named his 22-man squad for the European Championship B clashes with Russia and Serbia, which double up as qualifiers for the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England.
Miquel Tomas, Carlos Font, Juan Mudarra, Fernando Vidal and Francisco Pérez have been added to the mix. “They have had a great season and also taken part in the games against the GB Teachers in April,” said Fisher. “We have also added some experience with players that will add value and guidance around the field. They have to be committed and become key members in helping our development of domestic players and generally the growth of the game is Spain.”
One of those who is expected to shine is Francisco Luis Pérez, known as Paco. “He is one of our success stories as he only took up the game two years ago,” Fisher confirmed. “He is from a small town in the Cordoba region and was a good level soccer player. He caught the attention of the coaching staff initially through his national league appearances with Peñarroya and later with the U21 programme.
“His was named in the U21 side which travelled to Saluzzo to take on Italy last year and his performance was outstanding in that match. He stood out as one of the most courageous players and we have kept close tabs on his progress since. His commitment is second-to-none, having driven on his own and on various occasions the six hours from his home to national team events in Valencia.”
The full squad will convene in Valencia next week for a series of on and off-field sessions prior to the Russia fixture on October 6th .
EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP B FIXTURES
6 Oct 2018 – 15:00 Spain Russia Quatre Carreres, Valencia
13 Oct 2018 – 15:00 Russia Serbia Fily Stadium, Moscow
20 Oct 2018 – 14:00 Serbia Spain Makis Stadium, Belgrade
SPAIN 22-MAN SQUAD
Anthony Delgado (Carcassone), Antonio Puerta, Juan Mudarra, Rafael García (Custodians RL), Chris Lopez (Eastmoor Dragons), Leandre Torres, Luc Franco (Limoux), Eloi Pelissier (London Broncos), Francisco Luis Pérez (Mineros Peñarroya – Pueblonuevo), Daniel Garcia, Alex Doutres (Palau), Aitor Romero, Daniel Morales, Hadriel Mehamed, Raúl Simo, Miquel Tomas (Tigres Torrent), Romain Pallares (Toulouse Olympic), Adriá Alonso, Fernando Vidal, Carlos Font (Xativa Roosters), Miguel Olivares (Valencian Warriors), Kevin Aparicio (Unattached)