EUROPEAN SHIELD PREVIEW: GAME 2 – GERMANY v RUSSIA
17th May 2012
Russia enter the competition this weekend, travelling to Heidelberg to take on a German side boosted by their thrilling, maiden 25-24 victory against Serbia last Saturday in game one.
“We’ve prepared well for this game,” said Russia player-coach Eduard Ososkov. “It will be the first ever international experience for many of our young players. Having read the report on the Germany-Serbia match, we've tried to instil the need for a full 80-minutes of concentration.”
The Bears’ tough preparations have proved to be a double-edged sword, with some of their more experienced players struggling with injuries incurred in last week’s trial match. Meanwhile, Ososkov’s opposite number, Dan Stocks, fields what he classifies as, “definitely Germany’s strongest team to date.” Loris Geibel, Vincent Spiess, Seb Vermaat, Jakob Handy and Christian Mann are replaced by up and coming Leeds Rhinos star Jimmy Keinhorst and Heidelberg Lions centre Yassine Ayachi, both of whom featured in Germany’s 2011 European Shield triumph, and three more of Ayachi’s team-mates; Gregor Haartman, Daniel Lortz and Sven Wettzel.
“I’m looking forward to building on the performance from last week,” said Stocks. “I'm excited to welcome back Jimmy and Yassine while the other Heidelberg players have the chance to make their international debut. I’m also excited to see if Mawuli Amefia can play as well as he did against Serbia – he had a huge work-rate and made some really damaging runs.”
The Russians, like the Serbians, will be hardened by their 2013 World Cup qualifying experience, with the squad heavily reliant on the Vereya club. Ososkov is nevertheless confident, “There is only one result which will satisfy us – victory,” he added.
Pictured: Front row Sergey Konstantinov leads a massive Russian pack into Germany.
GERMANY 20-MAN SQUAD
Christoph Huber (Bad Reichenhall), Sebastian Roczyn, Lucas Marin (Baden Pirates) Thomas Isaak, (Calbach Racoons), Ben Behr-Heyder, Liam Doughton, Fabrice Fehlemann, Nico Koch, (Cologne), Mawuli Amefia (Heidelberg Hornets), Yassin Ayachi, Gregor Haartman, Kevin Klein, Daniel Lortz, Jens Schmidt, Sven Wettzel (Heidelberg Lions), Nick Keinhorst, Kristian Keinhorst (Leeds Akkies), Jimmy Keinhorst (Leeds Rhinos), Damien Seibold (Rockhampton Brothers), Joshua Danzey (Sunshine Coast Sea Eagles).
RUSSIA 20-MAN SQUAD
Igor Chuprin, Vadim Fedchuk, Vladimir Gotsulyak, Zakir Priznyakov, Alexey Volkov (Storm), Artem Grigoryan, Vladimir Odnosumov (RBC Red Arrow), Grigory Esin (Sankt-Pitersburg), Rustam Bulanov, Mikhail Burlutskiy, Sergey Gaponov, Anatoly Grigorev, Aleksandr Lysokon, Alexey Nikolaev, Eduard Ososkov, Roman Safronov, Maksim Suchkov, Vladimir Vlasyuk, Andrei Sevostianov, Sergey Konstantinov (Vereya).