Jimmy Keinhorst included in Germany squad as Moorteufel claim Bundesleague title

Drew Darbyshire

Leeds centre Jimmy Keinhorst has been named in the Germany squad along with two players from the Championship for their 2021 World Cup qualifiers.

Moorteufel have taken the 2018 Bundesleague title after the domestic season came to a close.

And the Germany coaching staff has now named their squad for the 2021 World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Norway, and the annual Griffin Cup clash with the Netherlands.

The matches in European Championship C – North will see them host the Czech’s in Osnabrück on August 25, and travel to Porsgrunn on September 15 to face Norway. In the opening game of the competition, Czech Republic defeated Norway 20-12.

Leeds Rhinos star Keinhorst, who has scored 18 tries and 15 goals in ten appearances for Germany, is the highest profile player named in the Nationaler Rugby League Deutschland squad.

Halifax’s Connor Hampson, Swinton Lions half-back Brad Billsborough, York City Knights’ Ben Dent and Coventry Bears’ Andy Hoggins have also been named in the side.

The squad includes 12 newcomers and contains 19 of the group that beat Wales Dragonhearts 38-34 last October in Cardiff.

“The squad reflects the improved standards of our domestic Steeden BundesLeague,” commented joint coach Simon Cooper.

“It also rewards players for their commitment to our sport both on and off the field.

“Against the Dutch, in Rotterdam on the first of September, we will only select domestic players, as we want to encourage the development of the game here. Last year we were beaten for the first time by our neighbours and that is something we are keen to rectify.”

The announcement of the squad came after Moorteufel, from Karlshöfen, won this year’s Steeden BundesLeague, narrowly beating last year’s champions Ostwestfalen Warriors 26-20 in the final round of matches. Seven of the victorious side are in the international squad.

In a game of high intensity and played in almost tropical conditions, the outcome was in the balance until the final minute when Daniel Pearson scored by the posts to secure the silverware.

Bob Doughton, joint coach of the national team, noted: “This year’s competition has shown a marked improvement in the standard of play, the lads are really beginning to understand the game.

“A massive thank you goes out to everyone who participated and made this year’s Steeden BundesLeague so successful.”

The curtain-raiser to the top-of-the-table encounter saw Green Hill Hunters secure a 22-20 victory over Ruhrpott Rhinos, also with the final play of a thrilling encounter.

Germany squad:

Ben White (Berkeley Eagles), Andy Hoggins (Coventry Bears), Martin Apostel, Benedikt Esser, Eduard Klassen, Sebastian Roczyn, David Ziekursch, Norman Ziwitzka, Marc Zupan (Green Hill Hunters), Connor Hampson (Halifax), Jimmy Keinhorst (Leeds Rhinos), Liam Bons, Karsten Brüning, Renko Fleming, Florian Frede, Jannek Hagenah, Alex Leers, Maurice Verstraaten (Moorteufel), Jared Blanke (Lézignan), Mawuli Amefia, Liam Doughton, Josh Leutenecker, Sebastian Peter, Vivi Seelweger, Phil Wadewitz (Ruhrpott Rhinos), Daniel Pearson (Loughborough University), Brad Billsborough (Swinton Lions), Mazlum Akbayrak, Zak Bredin, Niall Butler, Josh Ferguson, Sven Guderian, Phil Hunz, Max Keller, Raphael Tokona, George Wood (Westfalen Warriors), Ben Dent (York City Knights).