Wigan Warriors' Abbas Miski discusses the growth of Lebanese rugby league and explains his ties to the country

Abbas Miski states that Lebanese rugby league is getting bigger all of the time.

The Wigan Warriors winger is preparing to represent his nation in the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.

Miski’s parents were both born in Lebanon, before moving to Australia, where the winger and his siblings grew up.

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He said: “When people ask meI do say I’m Australian, but I have strong ties to Lebanese culture.

Abbas Miski appeared at the 2017 World Cup (John Davidson/SWpix.com/PhotosportNZ)

“I grew up around the food and the traditions, I’ve also been a couple of times.

“It’s a lot different in terms of the way people live and what they prioritise. There's an economic difference.

“Sometimes I think about what things would’ve been like if I grew up in Lebanon, and it would’ve been a lot different.

“I always knew that I wanted to represent them. I was about 18 when I made my international debut against Fiji, and I just loved it.

“Still to this day it was one of the best games I’ve ever played in. I was in the halves, so I was this young kid in between some massive guys.

“It was good to be alongside the best Lebanese.

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“The 2017 World Cup helped us a lot, because had a pretty successful campaign and made it to the quarters, just losing by two points.

People weren’t expecting that, not even the Lebanese fans. A lot of kids would’ve had aspirations to play after watching us then.

“Now with this World Cup and the amount of players making it into the NRL, it’s a massive boost for Lebanese rugby league.

Miski says while his parents weren’t big rugby league fans, they’ve always supported him.

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“They don’t hate it, but they never grew up watching it,” he added.

“They’re happy for me. A lot of people get pushed into it, but my parents just let me play.

“Sitting down on the coach, they’d always ask questions if a game was on.

“They don’t watch much of it unless I’m playing, but my dad is usually well asleep by the time games get underway here.

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“They are all very proud of everything I do, but playing for Lebanon was a big one.

“My mum came to the game against Australia and she was just mixing with the sea of red and white flags.”