Steelers’ Phillips has leading Vilnius role

Sheffield Steelers' Jonathan Phillips will lead the Great Britain team in Lithuania.

Sheffield Steelers' Jonathan Phillips will lead the Great Britain team in Lithuania.

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SHEFFIELD STEELERS’ forward Jonathan Phillips was last night confirmed as the Great Britain captain ahead of their World Championship campaign in Lithuania.

Doug Christiansen’s team landed in Vilnius yesterday afternoon and will go through some of their final preparations later today ahead of tomorrow’s opening Division 1B game against Croatia (11am, UK time).

Further games follow for the highest-seeded team in the tournament against Romania, hosts Lithuania and the Netherlands before the campaign ends on Friday against Poland.

The hosts have been boosted by news that NHL star Dainius Zubrus has been cleared to play for his country after his New Jersey Devils team failed to make the play-offs in North America.

While Phillips continues in a captain’s role he has fulfilled many times before for his country, his Steelers’ team-mate Danny Meyers has been chosen as one of the assistants.

Nottingham Panthers’ defenceman Jonathan Weaver has been chosen as the other assistant by Christiansen.

“Having worked with Jonathan Phillips over the last few years, it is clear he leads by example,” said Christiansen last night.

“His leadership qualities are really respected by his team-mates. You need a player that commands respect and he certainly is one.

“Jonathan Weaver is a guy who has worn the ‘C’ before, so has plenty of leadership qualities.

“He is the type of guy when you watch video, you see him blocking shots. He can be a star for our team.

“Danny Meyers does anything that it takes to win and was captain of the Nottingham Panthers.

“He wants to be part of a group that tries to get this team a gold medal.”

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