Euro D - Finals Day Preview
Two nations who pride themselves on continuing to develop their domestic competition meet in the Euro D final tomorrow (Sunday) at the Huseyin Akar Tesisler Stadium in Bodrum, Turkey. Czechia face the Netherlands in the decider of a double-header (kick off 3.15pm local time), preceded by Malta against their Turkish hosts (kick off 1.00pm), who will play off for world ranking points.
The champions will be promoted to Euro B for 2022, with the victors also proceeding to the official Rugby League World Cup 2025 qualifying tournament.
“We are 80 minutes away from creating history for ourselves,” said Netherlands head coach Kane Krlic. “We know what is at stake but it promises to be a very even contest between two nations who have a lot in common – may the best team win.”
Krlic will be without Den Haag Knights’ Thomas Farrell, who scored two tries in their 40-18 win over Turkey on Thursday, Haderwijk Doplphins’ Ruben Stuifzand drafted into the Orange 19-man squad.
Czechia are without Jiří Pecina who badly broke his leg on Thursday, their 40-16 win over Malta dedicated to him. He had surgery on Friday and is expected to leave hospital over the weekend. Mad Squirrels Vrchlabí’s Tomáš Horák is also missing after picking up an injury in that match.
Head coach David Lahr noted: “We have recovered well over the past two days and the boys are confident. This is such a reward for trying to keep developing our competition, there are seven club sides represented in our 19-man squad which is a great achievement and a lot of young talent. Tomorrow is a big day for our nation and our sport.”
Hosts Turkey bring in Çağdaş Çiçek and Eren Kemal Şen from Kadiköy Bulls and are hoping to thrill the home crowd as they continue to improve, whilst Malta name an unchanged squad although Shan Francois (rib) and Jean Scholey (collar bone) will not feature and Jean-Pierre Zarb is hoping to recover from a knock to his hand picked up in their semi final.
In the build up, representatives from all the nations supported an environmental project in the Bodrum area by planting trees and learned about the history of the south Turkey region.
The matches will be livestreamed on - www.facebook.com/EuroRugbyLeague
Netherlands – 19-man squad
Adam Braksator, Bonne Wilce, Frank Longhurst, Lucas Gout, Maurits Thomson, Paul Dirkzwager, Romeo Goldman (Den Haag Knights), Arie-Tjerk Razoux Schultz, Daniel de Ruiter, Ruben Stuifzand (Harderwijk Dolphins), Auke Idzerda, Ben Dommershuijsen, Edson Neves, Isaac Ngirubiu, Shadan Lavia (Rottderdam Pitbulls), Joran Schoenmaker, Laury Renac, Mauricio Gomez Pazos, Paul Kuijpers (Zwolle Wolves)
Czechia – 19-man squad
Antonín Berk, Daniel Veselý, Filip-Daniel Kittl, Matěj Soukup (Krupka Dragons), David Bělohlávek, Jan Říha, Erik Schulz (Slávia Hradec Králové), Jakub Hudrlík, Jan Hovard, Josef Chuchlík, Martin Kubát, Matěj Greenwood, Taras Turkevyč, (Mad Squirrels Vrchlabí), , Ondřej Preininger, Tomáš Řičica (Chrudim Rabbitohs), Jan Pecháček (Vlci Trutnov), Josef Brynda, Roman Richtr (Barbarians Letohrad), Tomáš Kasík (Black Angels Hodonín)
Malta – 19-man squad
Alfie Jewitt (Ackworth Jaguars), Justin Barlogio (DC Slayers), Dean Zammit (Hunslet), Christian Briffa, Mark Camilleri, Shaun Chircop, Jeremy Dela, Aidan Demicoli, Shan Francois Hussain (IKHAL), Cameron Brown, Russell Bugeja, Robin Cutajar, Justin Farrugia, James Grech, Jean Scholey, Jean Pierre Zarb, Luke Musu (ISWED), Zarrin Galea (Redcliffe Dolphins), Karl Cassar (Shaw Cross Sharks)
Turkey -19man squad
Alperen Kademli, Can Günersu, Kemal Ege Gürkan (Ankara Frigler), Mert Tayyar Berktav (Bilgi Badgers), Ahmet Tarik Tekin, Batuhan Balçin, Çağdaş Çiçek, Doruk Çeliktutan, Eren Kemal Şen, Miraç Ertürk
Oğuzhan Demir, Ozan Işik, Taner Burak, Yusuf Can Tunç (Kadiköy Bulls), Selçuk Cömert (Kandira Ragbi), Errol Carter (London Skolars), Behzad Bayram (Rg Heidelberg), Oğuzhan Tirendez, Ömer Faruk Pir (Trakya Ragbi)
Euro D - Finals Day: Sunday 17 October
1pm – Turkey v Malta – referee Jarda Bzoch (Czechia)
3.15pm – Czechia v Netherlands – referee Eamonn Whelan (Ireland)