Serbia’s mini-tour of Yorkshire continues this week (Wednesday 10 July) with a second match against the Yorkshire Lionhearts at the Stanningley club in Leeds (kick off 7.45pm).
The Lionhearts won Sunday’s first encounter at Heworth 26-22 against a Serbian side featuring a host of Red Star Belgrade players. Red Star famously fielded a side in the first round of this year’s Coral Challenge Cup, when they lost to amateur side Millom, and will be back again in 2020.
Belgrade and Novi Sad are the two main hotbeds for Rugby League in Serbia, and the two cities produce most of the country’s 1,000-plus players. In 2018 Yorkshire returned unbeaten from a two-game tour of Serbia and will tour again in 2020.
Yorkshire are coached by Ant Green (Oulton Raiders), Craig Oliver (Allerton Bywater) and Huddersfield Giants’ Tom Holmes (Cutsyke Raiders), who have devoted hours of their own time in recent weeks in preparing their players. The trio have named the following squad.
Nick Baldwin, (Allerton Bywater), Alex Bates (Bentley), Chris Boyce (Hunslet Club Parkside), Brad Cahill (Oulton Raiders), Thomas Hainsworth (Queensbury), Keiron Hainsworth (Oulton Raiders), Steven Hayes (Lock Lane), Mikey Hayward (Cutsyke Raiders), Danny Hunter (East Hull), Lee Land (Cutsyke Raiders), Connor McGill (Bramley Buffaloes), Jack McShane (Hunslet Club Parkside), Sean Malarkey (New Earswick All Blacks), Xavier Martin (Bramley Buffaloes), William Milner (Allerton Bywater), Stephen Mountain (East Hull), Callum Murgatroyd (Queensbury), Louis Silkstone (Allerton Bywater), Scott Smith and Jake Starbuck (both Bentley), Connor Wick (Cutsyke Raiders).
Serbia will prepare for the final match of their tour with a non-contact session with York Acorn tomorrow evening (Tuesday, 6.30pm), followed by a meal in their hosts’ clubhouse. Their full squad is available online here.
Serbia is a full member of the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) and in September will host visits from Canada’s men’s and women’s teams.