NRL winger Josh Mansour says it’s an honour to represent his heritage at this year’s World Cup and believes Lebanon are the ones to watch.
Mansour made his Lebanon debut back in 2009 before making his first-grade NRL appearance and has been connected to his roots ever since.
Having been a part of the Australia side that won the World Cup in 2017, Mansour is back with the the Cedars representing his family on the international stage.
Michael Cheika’s side will feature in Group C of the Men’s tournament competing against Ireland, Jamaica and New Zealand.
Mansour, who remains off-contract for 2023, says it’s a “privilege” to be representing Lebanon once again and is hoping to make the nation proud during their World Cup campaign.
“My dad was born in Lebanon and migrated to Australia when he was 17,” Mansour told Love Rugby League.
“He’s always instilled the Lebanese roots in me. I remember when I first joined the Cedars on tour in 2009 and it was the first time I met a lot of family members in Lebanon.
“I’m very connected to my Lebanese heritage and very proud of it and hopefully we can make a lot of people back home proud of us.
“It’s a privilege to be here. We’re very excited.”
Lebanon the ones to watch says Josh Mansour
Lebanon claimed a 38-22 victory over Wales in their final match preparations ahead of the tournament kicking-off next weekend.
The side open their campaign in Warrington next Sunday against New Zealand, before facing Ireland and Jamaica at the Leigh Sports Village.
“100% (we’re the ones to watch),” said Mansour.
“We’ve got the likes of Mikey Tannous, Khaled Rajab, Jacob Kiraz at the back who has had an unreal season in the NRL and guys like Adam Doueihi.
“We’re not thinking too far ahead. Our next job is against the Kiwis and ultimately we just want to be united throughout the whole World Cup and show a united front for the people back home. In Lebanon, a lot of us have our differences, but when we are united, we’re at our strongest. We’re very excited.
“Next week we play in Warrington with a big atmosphere which we’re very excited for. There’s a lot of players in our team who have not experienced professional rugby league in Super League and NRL.
“There are a lot of hidden gems in our team and it will be a good opportunity for the boys to express themselves next week.”