By Phil Caplan, Date: 14/8/13

The England-Midlands U18s depart for Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday 15th August where they face Germany and the hosts at the Rugby League European Federation Youth Festival. The Midlands select played at the same event in 2012 where they faced Lebanon and Serbia.

“The experience last year left a lasting impression on many young players,” commented David Butler who will manage the tour. “The importance of growing the game in Europe cannot be underestimated and the entire touring party is aware of the role they are playing in doing so. We are delighted to be giving the Germans and the Serbians the opportunity to expand their playing programme and to be representing England at the same time.”

The touring party consists of 19 players and 5 staff, with seven of the region’s clubs represented. All have raised their own funds to take part in the tour.

In addition to the two matches, members of the squad and management will assist in coaching and match officials seminars and the squad will also be guests of the British Embassy to assist in promoting British products and culture at a festival taking place in the city.

David McFarlane, Charge d’Affaires at the British Embassy in Serbia has taken a keen interest, sending the squad a good luck message ahead of the visit.

“The Rugby League European Federation U18s Tournament is fast becoming a regular and important international fixture,” he said. “I am delighted that a European tournament of this standing will again take place in Belgrade. This is a testament to the growing popularity of Rugby League in Serbia and the talent of the coaches and all the young athletes involved.”

Match Schedule:
Friday 16th August – Serbia v Germany (6pm)
Saturday 17th August – England-Midlands v Germany (6pm)
Sunday 18th August – Serbia v England-Midlands (6pm)

England-Midlands Touring Party
Sean Roberts (Coventry Dragons)
Sam Ball (Coventry Dragons)
Reece Needham (Coventry Bears)
Connor Slater (Coventry Bears)
Joe Gregory (Birmingham Bulldogs)
Will Cox (Leamington Royals)
Ieuan Jones (Nottingham Outlaws)
Sam Shepherd (Birmingham Bulldogs)
Adam Bromley (Birmingham Bulldogs)
Harry Marks (Coventry Bears)
Lewis Flack (Leicester Storm)
Jack Pearce (Derby City)
Daniel Hyams (Nottingham Outlaws)
Joe Frobisher (Nottingham Outlaws)
Jamal McKenzie (Nottingham Outlaws)
Peter Wilson (Nottingham Outlaws)
Zak White (Nottingham Outlaws)
Samuel Chalkin (Derby City)
Joolz Masters (Nottingham Outlaws)
James Carter (Coach)
Dan Poulton (Coach)
Kane Krlic (Coach)
David Butler (Tour Manager)
Danny McNeice (Tour Manager)

Updates will be available throughout the event on Twitter @MidsRugbyLeague