Lebanon qualify for rugby league World Cup

Lebanon qualify for rugby league World Cup
Lebanon's "The Cedars" won over the South African team to qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, which will be held in Australia.
2 min read
03 November, 2015
Lebanon's national Rugby team, The Cedars [Lebanese Rugby League Federation's page on Facebook]

Lebanon's rugby team has qualified for the Rugby League World Cup for the second time in the country's history after an impressive win against South Africa in Pretoria on Saturday.

Lebanon's team, nicknamed "The Cedars," won both games of a two-game series, the first 40-12 on 25 October and the second 50-16 on 31 October, to qualify to play in the 2017 World Cup that will take place in Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea.

"This is the best day of my life," said Chris Saab, the player with the most caps, who had waited for "a very long time" for this moment.

Lebanon Rugby League president Mohammad Habbous said that the team had worked so hard to achieve this and finally did it. He also thanked the South African Rugby League for "being such incredible hosts."

The first time The Cedars qualified to play in the World Cup was in 2000 after defeating the USA to get there but they failed to get out of the group stages.

Several members of the team are dual-nationals who hold both the Lebanese and the Australian nationalities and the team was originally formed in Australia.

Lebanon's Travis Robinson claimed three tries for The Cedars, while Elias Sukkar was the man of the match.

"It's an amazing feeling; to see what Lebanon has gone through in the last few years, to achieve this for the country is fantastic. I am proud to have played and won for my brothers, my family and my country," said James Boustani, who kicked seven goals from 10 attempts for The Cedars.