13 Oct 2021

The Euro D Championship kicks off at the Huseyin Akar Tesisler Stadium in Bodrum, Turkey tomorrow (Thursday) with added incentive for the four nations participating. Czech Republic face Malta in the opening game of a double-header (kick off 1pm local time), followed by Netherlands against their Turkish hosts (3.15pm local time), the two winners meeting in the final on Sunday at the same venue and the losers playing off for world ranking points.

The subsequent champions will be promoted to Euro B for 2022, and the Championship will also act as a pre-qualifier for the 2025 Rugby League World Cup, with the victors also proceeding to the official qualification tournament.

The Turkey Rugby League Association has reported significant interest on the back of the tournament, and is looking to spread the sport in the country as a result. Head coach Julien Treu commented: “We can't wait to compete. It is the first time Turkey will host such a competition so it is a wonderful opportunity for our local players to show the progress they have made in such a short time. The team is preparing well, the players are excited and eager to defend their colours on home soil.”

They face Netherlands in their opening game, fresh from retaining the Griffin Cup against Germany. Captain of the Orange, Ben Dommershuijsen, who be retiring after the matches, noted: “It gives the boys a platform to showcase what Dutch Rugby League is about. I am really honoured to captain our national squad and especially these boys. We know we are going into this tournament as underdogs, but we like that, we are always up for a challenge. We are going to prove to everyone that we belong at the top.”

Malta head coach Roderick Attard said: “We are looking forward to showcasing a strong contingent of domestic players that have been starved of international competition over the Covid-19 pandemic. It is great to be back,” whilst Czech RL president Lukas Hergott added: “Six months ago we were not expecting this event to be taking place, so we are very excited to be playing again! The core of our team is made up of those who played earlier in the year in our U21 side against Serbia, alongside some proven internationals and we know everyone will benefit from this experience.”

The matches will be livestreamed on -

Czech Republic 19-man squad

Antonín Berk, Daniel Veselý, Filip-Daniel Kittl, (Krupka Dragons), David Bělohlávek, Jan Říha, Erik Schulz (Slávia Hradec Králové), Jakub Hudrlík, Jan Hovard, Josef Chuchlík, Martin Kubát, Matěj Greenwood, Taras Turkevyč, Tomáš Horák (Mad Squirrels Vrchlabí), Jiří Pecina, Ondřej Preininger, Tomáš Řičica (Chrudim Rabbitohs), Jan Pecháček (Vlci Trutnov), 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)

Netherlands 19-man squad

Adam Braksator, Bonne Wilce, Frank Longhurst, Lucas Gout, Maurits Thomson, Paul Dirkzwager, Romeo Goldman, Thomas Farrell (Den Haag Knights), Arie-Tjerk Razoux Schultz, Daniel de Ruiter, (Haderwijk Dolphins), Auke Idzerda, Ben Dommershuijsen, Edson Neves, Isaac Ngirubio, Shadan Lavia (Rottderdam Pitbulls), Joran Schoenmaker, Laury Renac, Mauricio Gomez Pazos, Paul Kuijpers (Zwolle Wolves)

Turkey 19-man squad

Alperen Kademli, Can Günersu, Erdem Çağdaş, Kemal Ege Gürkan (Ankara Frigler), Mert Tayyar Berktav (Bilgi Badgers), Miraç Ertürk, Ahmet Tarik Tekin, Batuhan Balçin, Doruk Çeliktutan, Oğuzhan Demir, Ozan Işik, Rama Kabak, 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)

Match officials panel

Tony Palacios (Spain), Eamonn Whelan (Ireland), Aris Dardamanis (Greece), Jaroslav Bzoch (Czech Republic). Technical Delegate: David Butler (ERL)

EURO D Fixtures (all times local time)
Round 1: Thursday 14th October
1pm – Malta v Czech Republic
3.15pm – Netherlands v Turkey

Finals Day: Sunday 17th October

1pm – Loser Round 1 v Loser Round 2

3.15pm – Winner Round 1 v Winner Round 2