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August 2005 Press Releases - The time for talking is almost over

Rugby league Origin coaches have pretty much made up their minds as to who the 19 names will be that make up each of the Lancaster and Morecambe squads at next Friday's Origin game (12th August). The eagerly anticipated 1st match in the 2-game series kicks-off at Powderhouse Lane (Vale of Lune RUFC) at 6.00pm. The second game is a week later on 19th at Trimpell Sports and Social Club in Morecambe,again at 6.00pm.

Training for the Lancaster squad has progressed well at Rylands Park, with team-manager Rob Shaw talking about a real spirit in the camp. "There's a genuine buzz at training now. I don't know whether that's down to nerves or excitement. Probably a bit of both. Either way, people are chasing their jersey. Everyone wants a crack at Morecambe."

Two miles up the road the feeling was similar. But the pressure, it seems, is all on Morecambe, out to defend the trophy.

"This year it will be much more of a challenge." said Morecambe's Joe Pyrah. "Two matches means that even if we dominate in one, we won't necessarily win the series." Last year Morecambe, thanks to St Helens' Sean Weed, fought back to take the match in spectacular fashion over the final ten minutes - something Saints colleague and Great Britain squad member Ade Gardener described as "the best game of amateur rugby league I have ever seen".

Sean Weed took the "Man of the Match" award for his heroics last year, and this year will see individual awards for the equivalent at each game, as well as a "Man of the Series" award.

Lebanon announce 19-man squad for Lancaster game.

The Lebanese Rugby League Committee has announced the squad for this month's historic tour to Great Britain. The 19-man squad, drawn exclusively from the five-team domestic league, kicks off its tough nine-day campaign on 23 August in Lancaster against the England Lionhearts.

"The team is bonding very well. I'm happy with the selected squad," said head coach Remond Safi. "At this stage we're stronger in the forwards, especially their combination with the halfbacks."

The Lebanese then head to South Wales for a match against a Welsh President's XIII on 26 August at Bridgend's Brewery Field before travelling to Cardiff's magnificent Millennium Stadium as special guests of the English federation, the Rugby Football League, where they will be amongst a crowd of 80,000 to watch the cup final.

Lebanon's brightest rugby league talent will complete their trip in the Bristol nine-a-side tournament on 28 August. The tour will serve as a trial for full national team honours ahead of October's Mediterranean Cup, where the local players will be joined by Lebanon's elite Australian-based professionals in the defence of the title.


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