Glitz and locals

Malta rugby league head coach Joe Grima has included Maltese local Robert Bonavia in the 18 man squad to take on England in this Saturday's Rugby League International Friendly at Marsa Stadium.

Bonavia will join Malta Rugby Union International Rohan Spiteri and Australian based Matt Zammit and Brendan Russell on the 5-man bench.

All 18 players took part in this mornings session with Malta captain Ben Sammut limited following a minor injury to his leg.

Bonavia, a 31-year-old member of the Hibs Sharks rugby union club in Malta is excited at the opportunity presented to him by head coach Grima.

Boasting 11 caps with Malta's national rugby team, Bonavia's selection comes as the 110kg forward joins Hibs Sharks following a 5 year spell with glamour club, Kavallieri.

RLEF Media Officer this afternoon announced that credited referee Ashley Klein will officiate the Malta v England international friendly this Saturday at Marsa Stadium.

Klein, the 2005 Powergen Referee of the Year is an Australian born referee and refereed last week's 2005 Super League Grand Final.

Malta head coach Joe Grima's starting lineup is as follows.


1 Ryan BORG 2 Simon MICALLEF 3 Daniel SPITERI 4 Anthony XUEREB 5 Johnny MICALLEF 6 Ben SAMMUT ? 7 Luke BRANIGHAN 8 Pat GALEA 9 Steven GALEA 10 Paul HARRIS 11 Bradley CLEWS 12 Steven AZZOPARDI 13 Willie GRECH

14 Matt ZAMMIT 15 Matt DUX 16 Brendan RUSSELL 17 Rohan SPITERI 18 Robert BONAVIA

Malta will train at Marsa Stadium tomorrow morning before England make use of the afternoon session.

Today, the Maltese Rugby League team took on Marsa C.C at the Marsa Cricket Ground in a friendly match.