Barrow forward Tom Hopkins relishing Wales World Cup prospects

Tom Hopkins Wales
Photo: Dave Gibson Photography/Wales Rugby League

Barrow forward Tom Hopkins is determined to make the Wales squad for the World Cup after making his international debut last month.

The 29-year-old was handed his Wales debut by coach John Kear in their 34-10 defeat to France in Albi last month.

Hopkins qualifies to play for the Dragons through his father, who hails from South Wales.

“It was probably one of my best rugby experiences,” Hopkins said.

“It is a massive honour to be able to play for Wales. When I got my heritage number that’s when it really sunk in for me. It was a massive moment for myself and my family.

“I relish the idea of being able to do that again. Hopefully I can do it at the end of the year in the World Cup.

“I just really enjoyed the experience. The players made me feel welcome and that I didn’t need to prove anything. The coach was very reassuring so I just felt comfortable from the first training session.”

 

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Tom Hopkins aiming to make Wales World Cup squad

The test match has left Hopkins with a burning desire to represent his Welsh heritage at this year’s World Cup, which takes place in England.

Wales have been drawn in a group alongside Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands.

“I came back from that wanting to build on it,” he said.

“I’m hungry. I am going to do a lot of work off the field to make sure I’m in the best condition I can be for that camp at the end of the year.

“I’m going to lose a bit of weight. Hopefully my performances at club level will improve as I get more experience so I can get a get a bit of confidence going into the World Cup. It has given me direction and focus to give me everything to play for.

“I’m relishing the idea of being in a World Cup. It is still hard to believe it is a possibility at this stage but Wales have seen enough of me to believe that I could be considered. I need to do everything I can at my end to bolster my opinion.

“I still feel like my best is yet to come but I feel glad that Wales felt like they could give a debut to me; and potentially feature in a World Cup.”

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About Drew Darbyshire 8175 Articles
Love Rugby League Deputy Editor. Joined the site ahead of the 2017 World Cup and been a full-time reporter since 2018.

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