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Cisk sponsors the National Rugby Team for the World Cup 2007 qualifier against Serbia-Montenegro 05/04/2005

Malta National Rugby Team needs the roar of the crowd

Malta's national Rugby "Team of the Year" will be facing a crucial test on April 9, 2005, at Hibs Stadium, Kordin at 1.00pm.  Cisk Lager has been supporting the acclaimed Malta Rugby Football Union (MRFU) and their activities for a number of years.

“In order to qualify for the next round of the World Cup 2007 in France, the national Rugby team must win the next two tough fixtures, starting with Serbia-Montenegro on April 9th, followed by Bulgaria, away in Sofia, the following week,” said Malta’s national coach, Damien Neill.

“The Serbs will be bent on taking revenge for the narrow defeat inflicted on them by the gallant Maltese boys last year, who require absolutely every last gram of skill, strength and stamina. The strong Serbs were upset to be beaten by "little" Malta and have massive national pride of their own.”

Damien Neill is rebuilding the Malta side and is keeping his cards very close to his chest. He announced his final squad of 22 players for the forthcoming international vs Serbia-Montenegro. Three of the local rugby clubs, namely Stompers RFC, Kavallieri RFC and Alligators RFC have representatives in the national team with Kavallieri RFC  contributing no less than five players.

The Malta team has also received praise from the International Rugby Board (IRB) Chairman, Dr Syd Millar.  In a letter sent to the MRFU’s public relations officer, Mike Turner, Dr Millar said: “Today as part of the Round 2a Pool D qualifying, Malta take on Serbia-Montenegro at home. As I write Malta are ranked 54th in the world rankings and Serbia-Montenegro 64th, which indicates that the match should be very competitive. Interestingly, Malta was the fifth most improved team on the rankings in 2004 moving up 13 places. This followed impressive victories over higher ranked countries Latvia [in April] and Switzerland [in October].

“I would like to wish both teams the best of luck in their quest for success in the Rugby World Cup qualifying stages, not only for this occasion in Valletta but for their future matches in Pool D this year,” concluded Dr Millar.

The venue for this match at Hibs Stadium is a welcome development. It marks the first co-operation between the worldwide and nationally fast growing sport of rugby and the well established Hiberians Football Club which will be a benefit for both. 

An attendance of some 2,000 supporters is forecasted for this game, exceeding the well- attended Malta-Poland match last November. The Maltese supporters are very geared up to the sport and to their national team while the Malta team needs the full encouragement of its supporters.

Through the PRO’s efforts, the MRFU has arranged for a television team from the International Rugby Board to be present at the match.  The crew will be televising the game and this will contribute to a programme which goes out to over 100 countries around the world. “This is good news for the Malta Rugby Football Union as well as for Malta,” said Damien Neill.

The National Rugby Squad is made up of :-

1  Dean Zammit
2  Harry Collins
3  Martin Mallia
4  Ian Borda
5  Tom Webb
6  Luke Watts
7  Robert Bonavia
8  David Gasan
9  Steve Kempster
10 Dominic St. George
11 Paul Cioffi
12 Daniel Grima
13 John Dimmond
14 Dominic Busuttil
15 Mark Cuschieri
16 Jamie Caruana
17 Matthew Mirabelli
18 Oliver Sacco
19 Nick Warren
20 Chris Vassallo
21 Joe Sultana
22 Sean Doublesin