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Malta primed for Bulgaria test in Medieval Shield

Malta will face Bulgaria in a rugby league international at Marsa Rugby Ground (kick-off: 4pm).

On Friday, Malta players were presented with their playing numbers for Saturday’s Medieval Shield showdown. 

On Saturday, former Malta captains will present players with their shirts in the dressing room ahead of kick off.

Saturday’s fixture will kick off the #BeActive European Week of Sport and Malta head coach Philip Humphrey has named a strong team that features 13 players from the local MRL Championship, together with a throng of regular faces, and debutants in Brendan Dalton, Sven Camilleri and Karol Spiteri.

Malta are fresh off a 34-10 win over Montenegro last weekend in Tivat, and the Maltese Knights are raring to go according to players and coaches alike.

Last year, Malta defeated Bulgaria 50-6 in Sofia, and the Maltese squad goes into this weekend’s home match brimming with confidence after their strong outing in Tivat.

Malta head coach Phil Humphrey said: “After a fantastic domestic season, we’re looking forward to our second and final international of the 2023 European season. The team is well prepared and raring to go. I’m really looking forward to a competitive and well fought game on Saturday.”

The Bulgarian Wolves team flew into Malta on Friday evening and the match official in charge on Saturday will be French licensed referee Tony Palacios from Spain.

Malta Team Manager Anthony Micallef encouraged the general public to turn out in droves.

“The weather is shining, the grass is green at Marsa, bring a picnic and enjoy a drink, the Malta Knights are fresh off a great win over Montenegro, there’s some great rugby talent on show in the Malta squad and I encourage every rugby fan and every Maltese sports enthusiast to come down and enjoy a great day out,” he said.

With questions swirling around regarding Jarrod Sammut’s club commitments this weekend where his Barrow Raiders face York City Knights on Sunday afternoon, Sammut confirmed he intended to play back-to-back on Saturday in Malta and Sunday in England.

Sammut said: “Our last game of the season with Barrow Raiders this Sunday, so I’ll play Saturday for my family and my heritage with Malta, and then I’ll fly out first thing Sunday morning, it gets me back in time to warm up and get set ready to do battle in our last game of the season against York”.

MALTA SQUAD: Jarrod Sammut (Barrow Raiders, England), Robin Cutajar, Kyle Gauci, Jean-Pierre Zarb (Black Knights, Malta), Mark Robertson, Liam Scicluna, Karol Spiteri, William Watts (Blue Knights, Malta), Kaine Dimech (Cornwall RLFC, England), Alfie Jewitt (Featherstone Lions), Reece Dimech (Medway Dragons, England), Karl Cassar (RAF Rugby League), Mark Camilleri, Sven Camilleri, Brendan Dalton, Peter Debono, Jean Scholey, Nicky Vella (Red Knights, Malta), Justin Davenport (Tampa Mayhem, USA). 

BULGARIA: Mitko Atanasov, Kiril Atanasov, Stanislav Borisov, Anton Georgiev, Martin Hristov, Maxim Joakimsman, Kevork Kasparyan, Teodor Manchev, Georgi Parizov, Vladislav Parizov, Veselin Peychev, Tsvetan Rashev (captain), James Sherwood, Tihomir Simeonov, Doycho Slavin, Aleksandar Tomanov, Simeon Tsvetanov.

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