Venue: stadionu NK Lučko, Zagreb
Referee: Igotz Gallestegi (Spain)
These two teams meet after many drinks between games. The Czech Republic was relegated from ENC 1B last season.
The Czech Republic has looked slightly above this level of competition. Even though Croatia will have the home advantage I will expect the Czech’'s to be too strong in the second half. The Czech’s also welcome the return of their France-based professional Lukáš Rapant who will the pack much needed leadership
18.10.2008 Czech Republic 47-0 in Prague (Friendly)
06.04.2002 Czech Republic 95-5 in Brno (Friendly)
13.10.2001 Czech Republic 13-5 in Zagreb (FIRA/WCQ Europe, R2, Pool A)
28.04.2001 Croatia 32-22 in Makarska (FIRA B)
There is not a deep playing relationship between these two near neighbours. The Czech Republic, except for 2001-02, has played at levels above Croatia.
Czech Republic Last Five P 5, W3, L 2
08.11.2014 v Malta W 27-13 in Prague (REC 2A)
01.11.2014 v Switzerland W 27-14 in Nyon (REC 2A)
26.04.2014 v Moldova W 37-19 in Prague (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
05.04.2014 v Germany L 12-76 in Heidelberg (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
16.11.2013 v Ukraine L 10-17 in Zlin (WCQ Europe R4; ENC 1B)
Croatia Last Five P 5, W 3, L 2
08.11.2014 v Israel W 31-20 in Zagreb (REC 2A)
01.11.2014 v Malta L 26-31 in Valette (REC 2A)
21.06.2014 v Latvia W 16-10 in Riga (ENC 2A-2B Playoff)
19.04.2014 v Lithuania W 25-21 in Zagreb (ENC 2A)
2.04.2014 v Netherlands L 13-45 in Amsterdam (ENC 2A)
GWC Rugby Rankings
Europe Table: Czech Republic 13th, Croatia 23rd
World Rugby Ranking Points
Czech Republic 50.68, Croatia 45.90
Prediction: Czech Republic by 14 points: Score 35-21
Czech Republic Squad
Voves Robert, Calderoni Emilio, Havlíček Martin, Rapant Lukáš, Frank Jiří, Havel Vojtěch, Hruška Vojtěch, Loutocký Marek, Macháček Lukáš, Doležel Jakub, Backa Radim, Maňák Josef, Vojta Mára
Stejskal Aleš, Soural Adam, Vokrouhlík Pavel, Pailodze Vato, Rohlík Jan, Čížek Petr, Kopřiva Jakub, Lacina Jiří, Kolář Jan, Forst Tomáš
Lukáš Rapant (Oyonnax) returns after a long absense.
After last week's mini-training in Zagreb Milan Yelavich menu is chosen for this match following iigrače: Jai Ayoub (AUS), Dusan Hakaraia (NZ), Marko Grcic (GER), Ivan Miljak, Luke Perlain, Mislav Milanovic, Tonci Buzov, Nik Jurisic Mario Ozich, Dylan Rowe (UK), Antonio Stojanovski (Locomotiva), Luka Kovacic (Makarska), Denis Brečić, Vinko Udovičić, Marko Buljac, Tvrtko Dumančić Sekovanec Sasha, John Suta, Dario Oxenham (Mladost), Francis Marčić, Jure Popović, Tomislav Burazin, Luke Lerotić (RK Nada), Zeljko Galic and Luke Juresko (RK Zagreb).
Adapted from http://www.nada-rugby.hr/nadanew/hrvatska/seniorirepka/1835-enc-2a-hrvatska-eka-.html