International rugby league returns to Scandinavia on Saturday when current Nordic Cup holders Norway face Sweden at the Bislett Stadium, Oslo (kick off 2pm).
The hosts have won the last two encounters between the nations, but both are fielding a number of new, young players as the sport continues to grow in the region.
Norway coach Dave Hunter, commented: “We have had a decent preparation which included trials and a camp in Oslo. We have introduced a number of new players into our squad which should bode well for the future. We might start as favourites but there is an intense rivalry and we know we will have to be at our best.”
Opposite number Ashley Brown, who takes charge of the Swedes for the last time before handing over the reins to Sam Cammell, noted: “With such a young side and playing at a stadium we have never won in, we need no greater motivation. Both nations regard this as a special event in their international calendar.”
Norway’s squad is drawn from ten domestic clubs, the widest spread selected to date.
NORWAY 19-MAN SQUAD
Bendik Kalvik, Sjur Strand (Bodø Barbarians), Harald Mikalsen (Farsund Bobcats), Kristoffer Milligan, Stephen Skofteland (Flekkefjord Tigers), Reidar Flage, Sonny Mellor, Joshua William Skidmore-Hornby (Lillestrøm Lions), Isaac Schmidt (Oslo Capitals),Kevin Båtnes, Leif Andreas Nilsen, Nils Holte, Kristian Paulsen, Chris Stalsberg (Porsgrunn Pirates),Torbjørn Egaas (Sandnes Raiders), Mathias Vada Stenseth-Holm (Sparbu Lumberjacks), Ole Magnus Brekk, Stephen Mwikaria (Trondheim Rugby Klubb),Nathan Cummins (Stavanger Storm)
SWEDEN 17-MAN SQUAD
Samuel Ahlbak, Volkan Ak, Sebastian Johnson-Cadwell, Vilhelm Carlson, Sebastian Hylander, Nick Iaswn, Carl Lindblom (Skåne Crusaders RL), Patrick Hocker, Robert Maun, Christoffer Andreasson, Thomas Olausson, Emil, Sanderman, Jonnas Lyppert, Rhuaidhri O’Brien (Kungsbacka Broncos RC) Chris Ah Lam, Mark Beveridge, Johnny Engström (Stockholm Kungar RLC)