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Malta Rugby wants to give perfect home send-off to coach Damien Neill

The Malta rugby national team will resume their international commitments this weekend when they host Cyprus at the Tony Bezzina Stadium (kick-off: 2pm).

The game will have added significance for the Maltese rugby fraternity as it will mark the final match for national coach Damien Neill who will step down from his post after next June’s Games of the Small States of Europe, which will be held on our islands.

Malta Rugby Football Union president Robert Portelli told a news conference that excitement is brewing ahead of Saturday’s match.

“Saturday’s match is a special occasion for us as it is the final home match of Damien Neill, the Director of Malta Rugby,” Portelli said.

“It brings to an end an incredible 18-year tenure that featured great success for the game of rugby in Malta. No doubt it is going to be a celebration day for Malta Rugby and we are expecting a good turn-out on the day.”

On his part, coach Neill spoke of the young players coming through and players putting their hands up to play for their country.

“This is a very tough competition, as teams have to play eight internationals over two years and this game against Cyprus, together with our trip to Israel in April, will be tow of the toughest in this campaign.

“This is because these teams have many players who ply their trade in the UK and France. But we will give it our best and then the result will take care of itself.”

Neill stated his appreciation to everyone who contributed to the rise of the game in Malta.

“I need to show my appreciation for all the unsung heroes who have done the work behind the scenes and all the supporters who attend the games in all weather,” Neill said.

“I cannot say thank you enough, to you all.”

Kyle Gauci, who is part of the Malta squad for Saturday’s match, spoke of his excitement to be a part of the lead-up to the game and to be playing the match with all his team-mates.

At the end of the press conference, president Portelli, encouraged everyone to come down and be a part of the atmosphere that a game of Maltese rugby creates.

SQUAD: R. Apsee, M. Spiteri, T. Galdes, D. Cerketa, K. Spiteri, T. Davey, N. Azzopardi, G. Scicluna, L. Scicluna, C. Sultana, M. Barbara, H. Perkins, G. Perkins, M. Davey, J. Ellul, J.J. Micallef, D. Apsee, L. Watts, T. Holloway, B. Dalton, M. Cutajar, K. Gauci, M. Camilleri, D. Busuttil, J. Zammit Randich, C. Dudman, J. Debattista, R. Gum, L. Matthews.

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