Wales coach John Kear has set his team the goal of reaching the quarter-finals at this year’s World Cup.
Wales are in Group C and will take on Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Fiji at the tournament.
The Welsh did not win a match in the 2013 World Cup, but Kear is targeting winning Group C and making the quarter-final stage in 2017.
“I want to play England and if we play England it’ll be in the quarter-finals and I’ll be very happy to send those lads in red out against the lads in white and give them a little feel of the Welsh passion, the Welsh spirit,” he told Love Rugby League.
“That’s my little personal goal but the players themselves will sit down and set a group goal.
“But my personal one is to run out against England in Melbourne in the quarter-finals.”
Kear, who has previously coached France in 1997 and England in 2000, is enjoying his time in charge of the Dragons.
“It’s been a job that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and I think it’s a bit like Wakefield in that I feel being a professional organisation isn’t just about money, being a professional organisation is about how you approach challenges, how you structure your organisation and Wales is a very professional organisation,” he said.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of it and I felt that was reflected in the results we got last year.”
Wales will open their World Cup campaign against the Kumuls in Port Moresby, before facing the Bati in Townsville and the Wolfhounds in Perth.
Kear expects a tough opener against Papua New Guinea in Papua New Guinea.
“I spoke to Sam Hobbs who’s been visiting Wakefield and they play in the Queensland Cup team and play in PNG,” the 62-year old expained.
“It’s apparently a fantastic new stadium there, 17,000 will be there. I’m sure it’ll be virtually packed out, it’ll be a sellout.
“And then you’ve got your time difference, your climatic differences, so it’s a heck of a challenge but that’s what sport is about.
“You’ve got to embrace those challenges and I just think it’s so exciting to go and play in a country thats absolutely rugby league nuts.
“That is their number one sport and it’ll be a great privilege to pit our wits against them in such a great environment.”
We want to keep giving you the best news, views, features and opinion from the big wide world of rugby league. But we need your assistance to do it. Please donate here to help us keep going: