Good work won’t go unnoticed on big stage – Harris

Wales head coach Iestyn Harris is hoping that the Rugby League World Cup will showcase the country’s already encouraging developments in the sport to a global audience.

The schedule for the tournament was announced on Thursday, which sees Wales face Italy in the tournament opener at the Millennium Stadium before playing games at The Gnoll and Wrexham’s Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground – the homes of South Wales Scorpions and North Wales Crusaders.

Speaking at the Rugby League World Cup launch at the Millennium Stadium, he said: “It’s a great honour to be leading Wales into a Rugby League World Cup.

“We’ve building towards it for quite some time what with the European Cup win and then participating in last year’s Four Nations, but what the tournament will do is put some of the world’s best players on show in Wales – particularly the double-header that will start the tournament – which should increase the awareness of the good work already being done in Rugby League in Wales.”

A plethora of Welsh-born players now find themselves playing regularly in Super League in spite of Crusaders’ demise and Harris retains faith in the principality’s ability to produce Rugby League players.

“The pathway is there for everyone to see now; we’ve got two lads at Leeds Rhinos [Jack Pring and Ollie Olds] who have developed through the age-grade system and now find themselves at Super League clubs and it’s the same for Rhodri [Lloyd] who’s gone to Wigan,” he added.

“The system in Wales continues to strengthen and these boys have shown that there is a pathway into Super League. Obviously, the relationship with Wigan Warriors has smoothed the route into the top-flight, but we are developing youngsters capable of moving on to better things which bodes well for the future of Rugby League in Wales.”

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