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The opening match on the road to the southern hemisphere for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup takes place this Friday, 28th April, when Holland face Russia in Den Haag in the first tie of the ?European Preliminary Qualifying Tournament?.
Both nations have announced their opening squads for the clash with the hosts, who have included five new caps in their initial 17, confident of putting up a spirited show against their more experienced opponents.
1. Rudy Stanford Smyth - Rugby Sparta - Caps 5
2. Jammie Groeneweg - Hoek van Holland -1
3. Joel Barrett - Sheffield Hallam - 3
4. Ronald v / d Broek ? Haagsche - 4
5. Kees Foxon - Nottingham Outlaws - 3
6. Jorik Moree ? Rotterdam - 5
7. Aaron de Jagger - Huddersfield Underbank Rangers (Capt) - 3
8. Phil Parkinson - Nottingham Outlaws - 2
9. Chris Hodgett - Hemel Stags - 0
10. Bevan Williamson ? Rotterdam - 5
11. James Howitt - Coventry Bears - 1
12. Jason Brygroms - Rotterdam - 0
13. Raymond den Engelsman - Hoek van Holland - 2
14. Johnny Qua - Rotterdam - 5
15. Sjorte Neiboer - WC Haaglanden - 0
16. Pieter v / d Hast - WC Haaglanden - 0
17. Benjamin Blom - Sassenheim - 0
Plus three players to be selected from the game between the Nederland Tasman (Dutch development team) and Bamber Bridge to come into the senior squad
Veteran Robert Iliassov commented, "We?ll be preparing for each match of the World Cup as if it is the most important match in our life."