Four players from Gozo RL named in the Malta XIII squad
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Malta coach Anthony Micallef has named 25 players from the Dove Men+Care Championship in the Malta XIII squad ahead of their clash against the British Army’s 1 MERCIAN next month.
Seven players were named from each of the Birkirkara RL, Malta Origin RL and Sliema RL clubs, with Gozo RL contributing four players, Clifford Debattista, Gary Hili, Mario Mercieca and Mark Portelli.
The squad will come together for training ahead of a trial match three days before their July 8 match against the British Army team.
Micallef commended the form of the local clubs and said he was impressed with the level of improvement on the domestic front.
“The players’ education about the game is improving, you can see that from game to game and season to season,” said Micallef.
“It’s good to be able to name such a broad number of players for a match of this level. And while myself and Chris (captain and caretaker coach) will have to cut the squad (33 players) down to only 17, it’s a good problem to have.”
Micallef, who has been at the helm of the national team for four years, said up to 13 players would be selected for the national XIII from Malta and Gozo.
“We’ve been in touch with our UK and Australian offices and we’re in a position that we can include a couple of new players in our squad thanks to the development systems in place over there. That’s all welcome for what will be a serious test for our domestic squad.”
1 MERCIAN are heading to Malta with almost 100 personnel for the week-long tour.
Malta XIII vs 1 MERCIAN RL will be played on Monday 8 July.
MALTA XIII SQUAD AUSTRALIA: (Mascot Jets/Maltese Heritage RL: Bradley Littlefair)
ENGLAND: (Bradford Bulls: Jarrod Sammut, Karl Cassar), (Folly Lane ARLFC: Jake Lynch), (Garforth Tigers: Nick Quarmby), (Gateshead Storm/Maltese Exiles RL: Chris Parker), (London Broncos: Jonathan Magrin), (Eccles: Andrew Muscat).
MALTA: (Birkirkara RL: Clint Agius, Christian Briffa, Jeremy Dela, Tyson Freeman, Dylan Frendo, Luke Xuereb, Jean-Pierre Zarb), (Gozo RL: Clifford Debattista, Gary Hili, Mario Mercieca, Mark Portelli), (Malta Origin RL: Roderick Attard, Darren Edmunds, Michael George, David Farrugia, Sam Keep, Joe Paolella, Dillon Urry), (Sliema RL: Malcolm Attard, Matthew Camilleri, Dragan Cerketa, John Ellul, Ed Willis, Rob Meintjes, Chris Schranz)