Kear ready for Welsh World Cup challenge

Wales head coach John Kear has welcomed the challenge that the Rugby League World Cup draw could provide his team, but has insisted that focus remains on qualifying for the tournament first.

The permutations are still to be fully worked out, but Wales, depending on their performance in the World Cup qualifiers at the end of the season against Italy and Serbia.

But the Welsh face the possibility of trips to Papua New Guinea, Perth and Townsville, places in which they have never played previously.

“All the games we could be playing in the World Cup will be very difficult,” said Kear.

Papua New Guinea on their own soil will especially be difficult. They’ve beaten Great Britain in the past over there so it’ll be tough. But that’s why you go into World Cups, to test yourself.

Fiji also will be difficult as we saw in the last two World Cups and we’ve seen how well USA can do as well.”

Wales could yet face Ireland in Perth, depending on how the World Cup qualifiers pan out, as part of a double header with England facing France

“I coached both England and France in the past so that would be a very nice event if it happens,” Kear added.

“Perth’s a great city, I was there with Sheffield Eagles almost 20 years ago when we played in the World Club Challenge. It’s very much a Europeanised city and an all European occasion there would be nice.

“However our focus now is to qualify and once we’ve done that, we can put our energy and resources into progressing.

“Our focus now is Llanelli when we take on Serbia on October 15 where we’re spreading the game once again in the South Wales corridor.

“If we’re successful there, then the game in Monza could be a great experience for everybody. I’m excited by this autumn’s games and should we be successful, which I’m confident we will be, then the World Cup in Australia will be a once in a lifetime experience for players, officials and supporters alike.”

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