By Phil Caplan, Date: 17/8/12

This weekend will see Belgrade host a three-cornered rugby league under-18s tournament, the hosts facing England – made up of a representative side from the Midlands – and Lebanon. The festival comes on the back of Germany and Italy fielding sides at this level for the first time in July.


“It promises to be a great experience for the young players from all three nations,” said RLEF Central and Eastern Europe Director Jovan Vujosevic. Without youth development there is no solid base for sport in any country and because of that festivals like this are very important.”

Lebanon Under-18s coach Robin Hachache, who toured Serbia with Liban Espoir in 2007 and who coached the Espoirs (Lebanon Under-20s) in two matches against the English Lions Under-18s recently, is looking forward to further testing his young players against European sides. “It’s a great opportunity for our players to be able to experience a different level and it’s made me re-educate the team on some basic fundamental skills.”

Cedar Omar Marahaba, one of the youngest players in the festival who spent a week training in London earlier this summer, can’t wait to get into the thick of it. “I’m really excited that we will be playing in this event, for most of us it’s a dream come true, I hope that we will make our families and friends and all supporters proud of us.”

17th August: English Midlands v Lebanon
18th August: Serbia v Lebanon
19th August: Serbia v English Midlands

Nikola Đunić, Lazar Mićić, Mladen Randjić, Vuk Štrbac, Miodrag Tomić (Crvena Zvezda), Vasilije Jovanovic, Aleksandr Karimanović, Uros Radulović, Ivan Tulić (Dorćol), Sabedin Demirović, Milos Đorđević, Vuk Jovanović, Stefan Mijić, Aleksandr Pavlović, Nikola Popović (Morava), Nemanja Bajić, Stefan Kojović, Jan Kulik, Nik Ramišvili (Podbara), Ivan Antanasijević, Srdan Četnik, Branko Ćorić, Pero Madžarević, Vukasin Rajšić, Milos Reljić, Zdravko Stikić, Stefan Vidaković (Radnički NP), Gavrilo Cvetković, Milos Jovanović, Bojan Jović, Slavko Marković, Nemanja Petrović, Nikola Stojmenović, Filip Stošić, Nemanja Zlatanović (Soko), Veselin Caričić, Sergej Devetak, Nikola Đukić, Marko Stanković (Voždovac)

Adam Bromley, Oliver Sankey, Chris Zaric (Birmingham Bulldogs), Harry Marks, Connor Slater (Coventry Bears), Jack Pearce (Derby City), Will Cox (Leamington Royals), Hershall Ward (Leicester Storm), Tom Hughes, Alasdair McDougall-Stone (North Derbyshire Chargers), Myles Turner (Northampton Demons), Michael Bennett, Joe Frobisher, Daniel Hyams, Reece Needham, Nick Tasker, David Wilson (Nottingham Outlaws), Alex Heath, Ryan Home, Ben Lewis, Denham Samuels (Telford Raiders)

Ayman Soultan,Thomas Zachariou, Christopher Dalati, George Farah, George Yazbek, Khaled El Makari (Balamand High School), Ali Kanj, Andre Khoury, Maxime Chalhoub, Karim Tanir, Sadecc Choucaire (Broumana High School), Adam Dahbache, Mohamad Dahbache (David Karem High School), Omar Marhaba (Emir Fakhreldine High School), Jad Rizk (College Melkart), Karl Kaloustian, Liam Laba (IC Hamra), Nour el Baba, Mamoun Soufan (Namouzaj High School)