Dave Clark: ‘Grant deserves Wales chance’

South Wales coach Dave Clark believes that his top try scorer Dalton Grant deserves to be selected by Wales for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Grant, 23, scored two tries in the Scorpions defeat to North Wales on Sunday, one being a 100 metre dash brushing off a number of players, that brought his total number of tries to 18 in as many games this season.

The winger is already in contention to be named in the RFL Team of the Year, along with Scorpions compatriot James Tutuila, and now Clark believes Grant can shine on the biggest stage and win his first international cap.

“I’d like to think that Dalton should be there,” Clark said. “He was up against Rob Massam in the Crusaders game – they were both making breaks and were both chasing each other. But I think Dalton was just about in front of him, especially when he scored his second try, and he definitely has all the attributes to kick into the national squad as he’s had a great season for us.

“I’m very proud that we had 14 Welsh qualified players in the side on Sunday and that’s what our owner Phil Davies wants to build towards – producing local players that come through the system. At the end of the day he wants a full squad of Welsh boys and I’m sure he’ll get that in years to come.

“We had six 19-year olds playing against North Wales Crusaders so that’s a credit to us. It’s been a joy to coach them.

“We have a great youth set-up in South Wales. We had 14 players in the 19-man Wales under 16 squad on Friday that were drawing against England with just five minutes to go. We only lost that 25-18 and the England side were full of Super League academy players. That tells you something about what we’re building here in South Wales.”

Clark congratulated the North Wales side for winning Championship 1 little over 20 months after they were formed.

“I thought it was a great game to watch,” he said. “They deservedly won but it was great that our boys pushed them all the way.

“It’s the last game of the year and to compete like that was fantastic. I think we deserved at least a bonus point and it was just unfortunate that we had a couple of opportunities that didn’t go our way.

“But well done to the Crusaders. They’ve been the most consistent side throughout the season and they deserved to win the trophy.”

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