TRANS-TASMAN PREVIEWS | We've got a look over and made our picks for the opening night of the rep ro...
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After the experience of the Lokomotiv Tbilisi stadium and a crowd of over 11,000 in Georgia the Dutch come back to reality in the basic surroundings of RC Rotterdamse on Saturday 17th June (6.00pm) as the Netherlands complete their Euro "B" / World cup qualifying campaign against Serbia.
After defeats at the hands of Russia and Georgia the game will determine who finishes the group with the wooden spoon.
Given the rivalry that has developed between the sides in recent years the players and management are looking forward to a very competitive match. Serbia has lost their last two games to the Dutch, in 2004 in Rotterdam and then last year in Belgrade, but both sides have improved during this World Cup campaign.
The problematic full back position has again raised its head as Kees Foxon, a stand in for Joel Barrett in Georgia, is a definite non-starter. Joel dislocated his shoulder whilst filling in for the injured Rudy Stanford-Smyth, against the Russians and Kees suffered a bad dislocation of his ankle in Tbilisi.
Powerful second rower James Howitt is out for the season after picking up knee ligament trouble in the Russian game and Jorik Moree and Rudy Stanford-Smyth will need fitness tests.
This will be the first game in charge for new Head Coach Troy Perkins and his selection will be boosted by the inclusion in the squad for the first time of ex-Canterbury Bulldogs and Halifax three quarter Dayne Nierinckx. Dayne has made himself available after being released by Halifax and his experience will be a major boost to the Netherlands side.
The game also marks the retirement of two of Netherlands most capped players as Bevan Williamson returns to New Zealand with eight international caps for Netherlands, an appearance record matched by Johnny Qua who is also hanging up his boots after the game to spend more time with his new born daughter.
Netherlands ?train on? squad
Rugby League World Cup Qualifier Groupings
RC Rotterdamse, Holland
v Serbia 17 June 2006
1. Duncan Taylor (Worthing)
2. Jamie Groeneweg (Hookers, Hoek van Holland)
3. Dayne Nierinckx (Unattached)
4. Ronald van den Broek (Haagsche)
5. Cyril Brienberg (Roosendaal)
6. Aaron de Jager (Huddersfield Underbank Rangers) (captain)
7. Nathan Meirshcke (London Skolars)
8. Phil Parkinson (Nottingham Outlaws)
9. Chris Hodgetts (Hemel Stags)
10. Alan Barker (London Skolars)
11. Raymond den Engelsman (Hookers, Hoek van Holland)
12. Vincent Grimbergen (Sassenheim)
13. Bevan Williamson (Rotterdamse)
14. Benjamin Blom (Sassenheim)
15. Johnny Qua (Rotterdamse)
16. Jason Bruygoms (Sparta)
17. Jorik Moree (Rotterdamse)
18. Rudy Stanford-Smyth (Sparta)
19. Alex Hoogenzand (Sassenheim)
20. Bernie van Holstein (Hookers, Hoek van Holland)
21. Caine Rooseboom (Sassenheim)
22. Duncan van Dam (Rotterdamse)
23. Micheal O' Mahoney (Rotterdamse)
24. Sjoerd Nieboer WRC (Haaglanden)
25. Roelof Haar (Leeuwarden)