With the Rugby League World Cup only weeks away, Welsh boss John Kear has named a relatively strong squad that contains two of this year’s Super League ‘Young player of the year nominee’s along with a number of other players with genuine Super League experience.
Already limited by Injuries to a number of Super league regulars, including Wigan’s Ben Flower, Widnes duo Gil Dudson and Lloyd White, Wire’s Rhys Evens and Super league, league leaders shield winner Larne Patrick, the Squad will again be Captained by Salford Red Devils prop forward Craig Kopczak, with the experienced pair of former Bradford Bulls players Elliot Kear and Phil Joseph acting as Joint Vice captains.
Head Coach Kear has named also included Port Talbot born, 20-year olds Winger Regan Grace and Back rower Morgan Knowles who both took the Super League by storm this year cementing 1st team spots at St Helens before narrowly missing out to Wigan’s Oliver Gildart for the Young Player of the year award! There are also call ups for 3 uncapped players, with Chester Butler (Halifax) Gavin Bannion (Salford) and Josh Ralph, (Tweed Head Seagulls) all making the final 24 despite not being named in the train on squad earlier this year.
After failing to qualify in 2008 and failing to win a game in the 2013 World Cup, Kear will be looking for the same attuide and commitment that saw them qualify with games spare as they take on Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Ireland in their Pool A fixtures.
Wales squad: Courtney Davies, Steve Parry (both Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Joe Burke (Oldham), Gavin Bennion, (Rochdale Hornets), Matty Barron (Newcastle Thunder, Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (both South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Josh Ralph (Tweed Head Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matty Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls).