Bradman Best could represent Wales at World Cup

Bradman Best has been named to play for the Knights

Newcastle Knights centre Bradman Best could well represent Wales at this year’s World Cup.

The 19-year-old made his NRL debut for the Knights in 2019 and has since scored nine tries in 14 first team appearances.

Best was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for Wales through the heritage rule.

Another player we could see representing Wales at the World Cup is full-back Caleb Aekins, who has moved to Canberra Raiders for the 2021 season.

Wales chief executive Gareth Kear estimates between 70 and 80% of the team will comprise players born and bred in Wales or heritage players who are already in the UK but also expects to have an NRL presence.

Kear said: “A number of players are making us aware they qualify by heritage and, as per the international rules, we go through all the protocols to make sure they are.”

Wales have been drawn in a group with Tonga, Papua New Guinea and the Cook Islands for this year’s tournament.

Wales lost St Helens forward Morgan Knowles after he switched his allegiance to England and Kear would like to see the rules changed to prevent a repeat.

Kear said: “Morgan came through our pathway but, at the end of the day, competition rules allowed him to do what he did.

“Our view, as a governing body, is that we would like to see those rules changed.

“Heritage players are important to growing the game but, once you decide to play for a nation, at the very least it should be a four-year cycle.

“And my personal view is that that is your team and you don’t get to change, regardless of whether that’s tier one or tier two.”

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