A PAIR of Keighley Cougars players will put friendship aside for 80 minutes when they battle against each other for their countries in a World Cup qualifier.

Jason Muranka and Kieran Moran have been included in the Serbia and Scotland train-on squads respectively for this autumn's qualifiers for the 2021 World Cup.

The two may face each other in the Group B qualifying clash at Lochinch, Glasgow, on October 26. Scotland will then play Greece at London Skolars' New River Stadium on November 1.

The international call-ups are a great way for both Muranka and Moran to end their years after both impressing for Cougars in Betfred League One during the season.

They are both in their respective country's training camps as they gear up for the chance to join the world's elite countries including New Zealand, Australia and England.

The club-mates insists they will have their respective game faces on if they are selected to play against each other in Glasgow.

Second row Muranka, 30, said: "It will be good. Playing for Serbia is a good way to end the season.

"It's always a nice privilege and an honour to play for Serbia. I'm grateful for the call-up.

"It's a nice bit of publicity for Cougars too to have two players getting international call-ups.

"It's a bit of a rivalry for me and Kieran. All that matters is that we both have our jobs to do when we play that game.

"It would be massive to achieve something like playing in a World Cup for Serbia, but I'm not thinking that far ahead. It would be a dream come true.

"I'm confident of getting to the World Cup. We can put together a good squad that will be competitive.

"There's not much time to have a break, but at least I get a little mental break. But I get bored anyway."

Former Newcastle Thunder ace Muranka added he has enjoyed his first season at Cougar Park.

He said: "It's been great, it's gone well. I have loved every minute of it since I joined Keighley.

"Ever since the new owners have come in they have transformed the place with the way they do things. It's a really good atmosphere, I love playing home games."

Meanwhile, Moran also says it is an honour to represent Scotland, who he qualifies for via his late grandmother Susan McCarthy.

Loose forward/prop Moran, 22, said: "It's great to be called up. It's nice to get it.

"I want to be involved in the big competitions and play against teams like Australia and New Zealand. They are teams I look up to and aspire to be like.

"We have got together this week for Scotland as a few players have been involved in the play-offs.

"Me and Jason knew we might be playing against each other. I have played against him before when he was at Doncaster and I have been with Keighley.

"We will put friendship and being team-mates aside if we play against each other.

"We both want to win and have been giving a bit of banter out.

"Hopefully it should be good for us. I have been in and around the squad for the last two years.

"I want to play these games for Scotland and then kick on for Keighley."

The European play-off tournament will qualify four teams to the World Cup. It is scheduled for October and November this and will consist of Ireland, Scotland, Serbia, Spain, Greece and Italy.

The six teams will be split into two round-robin pools. The winners and runner-up in each pool will qualify for the 2021 World Cup. There will be no European qualification to the intercontinental play-off.

Of the 16 nations that will compete in the 2021 World Cup, eight were granted automatic qualification, having reached the quarter finals of the 2017 World Cup.