All four nations have announced their initial train-on squads for the second Middle East Africa Championship, to be held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos, Nigeria from 2-5 October.
Hosts Nigeria has opted for a 60-man party initially, including the likes of Canterbury Bulldog’s Jayden Okunbor, who has been named vice-captain, young Leeds prop Muizz Mustapha who has impressed on loan at Newcastle Thunder, and Hull KR emerging talent Elliott Wallis. Super League stars Tuoyo Egodo and Sadiq Adebiyi and established names Rob Worrincy, named as skipper, Will Sharp, and Daniel Igbinedion are also included. They join local players from Eko Trinity, Kano Lions and Logos Haven, part of Nigeria’s eight-team domestic competition, which is set to kick-off as a pre-cursor to the tournament. NRL vice-president and general manager Ade Adebisi noted: “We have held a number of successful national training sessions in the capital and in the North of the country and look forward to being joined by stars from overseas. I’m excited to have reached another milestone on the targets we set at the beginning of this wonderful journey. Nigeria is blessed with so much raw talent and I can’t wait for the world to see what we eventually accomplish.”
Okunbor said: “It is an absolute honour, that I will forever be proud of. Growing up never thinking Nigeria would ever have a national team and now to be named a vice-captain means so much to me and my family.
“To be a part of what could possibly be the beginning of something amazing also really excites me and I can’t wait to rip in with the boys.”
Nigeria Train On Squad
Alamin Ajelara, Azeez Ajelara, Benjamin Jegede, Jordan Adebumowa, Mathew Jegede, Micheal Worrincy, (Africa United Australia) Jayden Okunbor ( Canterbury Bulldogs) Tuoyo Egodo (Castleford Tigers) Daniel Igbinedion, Robert Worrincy, (Dewsbury Rams) Hsa Harrison, Nosakhare Agwoje, Oladele Abiodun, Emmanuel Ayewe, Eneji Michael Iyeshi, Francis Olatunbosun, Shittu Isiaka Eko Trinity) William Sharp (Halifax Rlfc England) Elliot Wallis (Hull Kingston Rovers England) Jude Abrakson, Alex Richard, Issa Omale, Obi Wilson, Gabriel John, Joshua Etim (Kano Gazelles) Samuel Akpabio, Christian Williams, Sani Mohammed, Ibrahim Suraju, Nuhu Ibrahim, Bashir Usman (Kano Lions)Prince Nwauzor, Kelechi Anozie, Shedrack Kalu, Sukirudeen Alameen, Buni Mba, Sodiq Sakariyau, Emmanuel Peter, Michael Clement, Izuchukwu Nwaire, Monday Samali, (Lagos Broncos) Jeremiah Peters, Azuka Kelvin, Stephen Kiki, Olisa Kelvin, John Precious, Eric Olualogbo, Daniel John, Prince Samuel, Ayo Johnson, Quadri Kareem, Mark Macaulay, (Lagos Haven) Muizz Mustapha (Leeds Rhinos England) Sadiq Adebiyi (London Broncos England) Jubril Olajide (Manchester Rangers England) Isah Lawal Saulawa (Northants Uni England) Matthew Komolafe (Parramatta Eels Australia) Godson Sado ( St Albans England) Boluaji Fagborun (Unattached)