Brad Billsborough to captain Germany against Czech Republic

Drew Darbyshire

Swinton star Brad Billsborough will skipper Germany when they face Czech Republic in Osnabruck on Saturday.

Germany have included 15 players from their domestic league in their 19-man squad ahead of the 2021 World Cup Qualifier with the Czech Republic in Osnabruck, Germany, on Saturday, as part of European Championship C – North.

The visitors’ win in their opening match against Norway means they can ensure passage to face the winners of the Southern section.

All four clubs who make up the BundesLeague – recently crowned champions for the first time Karlshöfen Moorteufel, Green Hill Hunters, Ruhrpott Rhinos and Westfalen Warriors – are represented for the hosts, along with four heritage players; Swinton’s Billsborough, Halifax’s Connor Hampson, Newcastle’s Ben Dent and George Wood, who appeared for Westfalen during the 2018 campaign.

Billsborough takes the armband due to Mawuli Amefia being injured and said: “I am immensely proud to have been given the opportunity to captain Germany, it is a real honour for me and my family.

“I look forward to leading this talented and committed group of players against what is sure to be a tough Czech side.”

Joint German national coach Simon Cooper added: “Some players have made a round trip of over 1,200km to play in the BundesLeague.

“The reward is that they are part of the first-ever German team to be involved in the World Cup Qualifiers.”

Czech player-coach Ladislav Cintler said: “This game can be a turning point in Czech rugby league history.

“This clash with Germany is our final test of this year so it will be our golden point of this international season. We will put every effort into this match and we want display our best there.”