Lebanon National Rugby League Team
The Lebanon national rugby league team (Arabic: لبنان الرجبي الوطني فريق في الدوري) is the representative side of Lebanon in rugby league football. They are nicknamed "The Cedars" after the Lebanon Cedar tree, which is also on the Lebanese flag. The team has been participating in international competition since 1998. The team was originally formed in New South Wales, Australia, composed of Lebanese Australians. But their success has helped the game grow in Lebanon and now players are also taken from the newly formed Lebanon Championship as well as the National Rugby League in Australia.
The team played in the 2000 World Cup, having defeated the USA to get there. But it failed in getting out of the group stages, despite a draw against the Cook Islands in Cardiff and a 24–22 defeat against Wales in Llanelli. The Cedars then attempted to qualify for the 2008 World Cup but lost their group to Ireland and finally losing the repechage final to Samoa. In other competitions they have been more successful. They have taken part in the Mediterranean Cup and have won it in every year it has been played. In 2006 they won the Phoenician Cup by beating Malta.
Currently the team are ranked 11th in the world, having dropped out of the top ten after failing to qualify for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup. In the more up to date European rankings they are ranked 5th, behind World Cup qualifiers England, France, Ireland and Scotland, but they are ahead of Wales, Russia and Serbia. Darren Maroon occupies the position of head coach.