His coach Brad Fittler may still need some convincing but Lebanon captain Robbie Farah says the Cedars are confident of a giant killing run at the looming Rugby League World Cup.

Lebanon have only qualified for their first World Cup in 17 years and at No.21 are the lowest ranked team in the 14-strong tournament.

However, South Sydney’s Farah is still backing the Cedars to at least make the quarter-finals after also snaring the likes of Parramatta duo Mitchell Moses and Tim Mannah and Bulldogs rake Michael Lichaa.

But a refreshingly frank Fittler reckons the jury is still out.

The NSW great said he was loving his time with the Cedars but did not want to make any bold predictions before their opening group clash with world No.6 France at Canberra on Sunday.

Asked if Lebanon could go on a finals run, Fittler said: “Robbie and the boys believe they can – they are yet to convince me.

“But the more we spend together, the more we are coming together.

“The boys believe and that is the key thing.

“Last time Lebanon played at the World Cup was 17 years ago.

“None of these guys have really played together.

“It’s a day at a time for us. We will just see what happens.”

In Group A along with defending champions Australia and Wayne Bennett’s England, Lebanon’s opening game in Canberra is their best chance of recording a maiden Cup win and all but guarantee a quarter-final berth.

One win is expected to secure a top three finish in Group A, ensuring a quarter-final spot.

“This is a great opportunity to make our mark on the world stage,” Farah said.

“At Lebanon’s first World Cup (in 2000) they had a draw and two losses so we have never won a game at a World Cup.

“That’s the goal for us, to win a game in this group stage and hopefully that will put us in a quarter-final and who knows.”

Fittler said his star NRL contingent had helped fast track the rest of the Lebanese squad’s World Cup crash course.

“They are a lively bunch and want to learn. It’s good to have guys like Robbie, Mitchell and Timmy Mannah guide the way, show what standards we need at training,” he said.

“It helps them take that step up to that next level.”

Fittler admitted stepping into the Lebanon role had been an eye opener but had no complaints.

“It’s a very different dynamic but the Lebanese people love our game,” he said.

“It’s been thoroughly enjoyable but a bit different. Well, very different.

“A bit like myself. That’s probably why it is such a good connection.”

Asked how his grasp of Lebanese was going, Fittler said: “It’s getting there.

“I eat the food really well. I am a bit nervous about putting on weight.”

© AAP 2018

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The Crowd Says (6)

  • October 23rd 2017 @ 8:34am
    Terry Tavita said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

    I like these articles..bring on the world cup!!

  • October 23rd 2017 @ 8:56am
    Fred said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

    I’d love to see Lebanon do well.

    I’d love to see France do well.

    A pity only one of those two will advance out of the group stage. But whichever of the two, I’ll be cheering them on in the quarter final.

  • October 23rd 2017 @ 10:12am
    Paul said | October 23rd 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

    I hope the Lebanese boys get their wish and win a game. Also great to see Farah talking it up and Freddy being candid about their chances.

  • October 23rd 2017 @ 7:30pm
    Andrew said | October 23rd 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

    Play actual Lebanese players and you might get a bit of positive interest in the Tournament

  • October 23rd 2017 @ 8:35pm
    Greg Ambrose said | October 23rd 2017 @ 8:35pm | ! Report

    I can’t recall a sporting team or individual ever going on a giant killing run after declaring that’s what they about to do. Hopefully someone has an example.

    It was a different sport and halfway thru the tournament but I remember Pat Rafter telling his family to get on a plane to the U.S because he could feel something special was about to happen on his way to winning the U.S tennis title. He wouldn’t have been close to favorite but he won.

  • Roar Pro

    October 24th 2017 @ 3:41pm
    Adam Hayward said | October 24th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

    If Farah gets his way, Freddy will never coach Lebanon again after this World Cup #coachkiller ?

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