This article first appeared on www.rlwc2017.com.
When Adam Doueihi was in school he played rugby union, but his passion was always rugby league. This year the up-and-coming South Sydney Rabbitohs half donned a different shade of green, red and white when he was called up for the Lebanese national team.
“I was actually forced to play rugby union, although I liked it as well, because of the school I went to,” said Doueihi.
“But I played rugby league since I was about six years old and I’ve always just loved the sport. My family is into rugby league, so it was a pretty easy decision to change.”
Doueihi, whose grandparents are from Zgharta in Northern Lebanon, retains strong links to his Lebanese heritage and says his favourite food is his grandmother’s kebab naya. Selection for the Cedars is one of the biggest achievements in his burgeoning career.
"It means a lot to be called up, and to play alongside players like Robbie Farah and Mitchell Moses," said Doueihi.
“My family in Lebanon are very supportive and they love what I’m doing, so I’d love to give a bit back.”
Lebanon face an enormously difficult World Cup campaign with opening games against France, England and Australia. As a young rugby league nation that relies heavily on Australians of Lebanese heritage, the chance to play in front of thousands of Lebanese-Australian rugby league fans is a rare opportunity. With an experienced coach in Brad Fittler and a few NRL stars in the squad, Doueihi is quietly confident that Lebanon will put on a good show.
“I’m hoping the boys have a good campaign,” he said. “We have a good coach and leadership group, and I hope we have a good time and hopefully cause some upsets.”
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Purchase Tickets to England v Lebanon in Sydney on 11/11/2017
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