Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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Sammut named for Malta in Denmark test
Bradford Bulls halfback Jarrod Sammut will turn out for Malta at Gentofte Stadium this Saturday as the Knights take on Denmark in the second and final leg of the Dove Men+Care International Series.
The Super League star scored four tries in the Bulls' last match of the season and in his last appearance for Malta, equalled the record for most points in a match, with 36 against Norway that included four tries and 10 conversions last September.
The naming of Sammut has overshadowed the debuts handed to London Skolars hooker Danny Burke and London Broncos academy star Jonathan Magrin who was born in Malta, and eight players from Malta's domestic championship, the MRL Dove Men+Care Championship.
Malta coach Anthony Micallef has named an extended bench with two players to be omitted, and Denmark coach Nigel Kitching naming 20, to cut three by tomorrow, and the Danish will be eager to claim revenge after the Maltese' 24-12 win in Hamrun last June.
On that occasion, Viiga Lima crossed twice for the Danes before the Maltese struck back with five unanswered tries in 30 degree plus conditions on the Mediterranean island.
At the time, Rune T.Nordvang rued a series of second half errors that wiped out Denmark's hopes of victory.
�I was very impressed with the first half performance, it was strong. But a few too many mistakes in the second half. A very good game and good learning performance for us to take home for the next leg� commented Nordvang.
This Saturday however, the Danish will be hosts out of Gentofte Stadium with temperatures not expected to rise above 15, and Kitching is also expected to field some changes including the big Uraia Vucago.
Asked whether the cooler temperatures would benefit the Danes in the second match, flamboyant Dane Bjarne Vibe instead concentrated on commitment; �The intensity of our training sessions, plus the experience of tough games against the like of Norway can give us a stronger performance this time round�.
Micallef however said he has control of his strongest team in his four years in charge of the national team.
�Together with (Gateshead based) captain Chris Parker who is taking care of the Maltese Exiles concept in the UK, we have come up with the strongest squad during my tenure in Malta. It's a credit to everybody involved in Maltese Rugby League, it's at its strongest position in a long time and the results of good development work do produce a follow on effect up to and including the national team�.
Brand Marketing Manager Antonella Mizzi commented on Dove Men+Care's support of the competition and threw her support behind the Maltese, after the brand acquired major sponsorship rights of the fledgling rugby league nation earlier this year, �It has been a pleasure to sponsor Rugby League with Dove Men+Care. Although this has been a learning process for us we have grown to love the sport�
�This Saturday, we will be proud not only sponsoring Rugby League with Dove Men+Care but also seeing every player give their best for the team and especially for Malta�
Norwegian referee Jostein Ryan will control the match that will kick off at 2pm local Denmark time this Saturday (29 September).
Live updates of the match will be available at www.twitter.com/maltaRL.
Justin Barlogio, Paul Bartlett, Shaun Bartlett, Paul Borg, Danny Burke, Clifford Debattista (vc), John Ellul, Shaun Gilmour, Carl Grima, Gary Hili, Shan Francois Hussain, Jonathan Magrin, Joe Paolella, Chris Parker (c), Paul Parkinson, Jarrod Sammut, Matthew Von Brockdorff, Ed Willis, Sam Keep