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He’s now a world away from the NRL – but that might be exactly what Michael Lichaa needed.

There are key differences between the Rugby League World Cup and the Telstra Premiership; while the stakes are higher and the world’s best are on show in the international tournament, it also gives the opportunity for lower-tier players to step into the spotlight. Few teams encapsulate that more than the Lebanon Cedars.

Stacked with talent from the Ron Massey Cup and Sydney Shield, Lebanon have captured the imagination of onlookers with a maiden World Cup win over France and a never-say-die attitude against the heavily-favoured English. One of the side’s five regular NRL players, Lichaa has been kept grounded by the experience.

“It’s actually been awesome,” Lichaa tells “These guys are playing Sydney Shield and Ron Massey, they’re playing in front of 100 people and have never experienced anything like this before.

“The thing is they’re so passionate. It’s not like an NRL season where you’ve got to go for 26 rounds, it’s three or four games and these guys are getting up for them."

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