Though the likes of Australia, England and New Zealand will play in the next few days, perhaps the biggest game of this round of the World Cup is Ireland vs Lebanon on Sunday at Leigh Sports Village, home to the newly named Leigh Leopards.
The game is virtually a shoot out for the quarter-finals. Ireland beat Jamaica last week and next week Lebanon will be expected to beat Jamaica themselves after losing to New Zealand in week one which is a fate expected to befall Ireland next week.
This means that the winner of this game will likely join the Kiwis in getting out of the group stage and into the quarter-finals where they are likely to meet holders Australia.
Ireland have already been given a boost through the fact that Lebanon will be without star stand-off and Wests Tigers man Adam Doueihi due to his suspension which, despite two appeals, has been upheld after he was charged with “foul and abusive language” towards the match official as Lebanon lost to New Zealand in a game that saw him red carded.
In another boost for Ireland, they have again named a very strong squad with Leeds Rhinos, Wigan Warriors and Huddersfield Giants stars all set to feature amongst others from Super League.
The Rhinos will be represented by fullback Richie Myler, James Bentley and new signing James McDonnell.
The Warriors’ own new signing Toby King is also set to feature alongside brother George King of Hull KR. speaking of brothers and the Robins, twins Louis and Innes Senior of Hull KR and Huddersfield respectively will feature.
The Giants will also be represented by new signing Harry Rushton whilst Hull KR’s Frankie Halton will also feature after avoiding a ban.
There will be some home town heroes in the shape of Leigh’s Ed Chamberlain and the Leopards’ new signing Rob Mulhern.