Lebanon star Adam Doueihi has paid tribute to the World Cup for kickstarting his NRL career, and believes it could do the same for plenty of others.
The utility back made his international debut for Lebanon in 2017, almost a year before making his NRL debut for South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Doueihi played a starring role in Lebanon’s impressive World Cup campaign in 2017, and is now one of their senior players at this year’s World Cup.
The Cedars face reigning World Cup holders Australia in the quarter-finals in Huddersfield on Friday night, and Doueihi is encouraging his youthful Lebanon side to make the most of their opportunities against the Kangaroos.
“They are probably the benchmark of the NRL competition and probably the 17 standouts in terms of the whole competition,” Doueihi said of Australia.
“In terms of the (Lebanon) players who aren’t at NRL level, it’s a good opportunity for them to have other clubs watch them, there will be a lot of clubs watching these games.
“I know for me, the 2017 World Cup really set up my NRL career.
“I’ve spoken to a few of the younger boys and a few players off-contract, just saying if you keep playing and showing these clubs that if you play some good footy which they have shown over the past three weeks and pretty much take it to the opposition next week, then it will do you wonders.
“You never know how close the NRL dream can be after these games so there’s obviously that side of it. It will be a good challenge that we’ll look to take to them.”
Adam Doueihi up for Kangaroos challenge
Doueihi was born and raised in Australia and is of Lebanese heritage trough his grandparents, who are from Zgharta.
The Wests Tigers playmaker knows the task at hand is a big one, but he is keen for the Cedars to show the world what they’re made of on Friday night.
“I guess every team has a few trick plays but we’re just going there to play our brand of footy,” Doueihi added.
“I feel as though we’ve played a pretty similar brand throughout the first three games and we’re not going to try and throw the ball around everywhere. Kingy (Matt King) has given us really good defensive and attacking structures and we feel as though if we nail it we can beat anyone on our day.
“We’ll be doing that this week, and find some deficiencies in the Aussie team and try to exploit them.”
The quarter-final between Lebanon and Australia takes place at the John Smith’s Stadium in Huddersfield on Friday night, 7:30pm.