Leigh Centurions full-back Caleb Aekins says he would love to make his family proud by representing Wales at this year’s World Cup.
The 24-year-old moved over to England in the off-season after joining Championship club Leigh for the 2022 campaign.
Aekins was born and raised in New Zealand, but he is of Welsh heritage through his mother Kimberley’s side of the family.
“My mum’s Welsh,” Aekins told Love Rugby League. “I went over to Wales when I was around 10 to spend some time over there. I actually went back over to Wales last week.
“We had a couple of days off so I went back and seen all the family got to know them all again really.
“I can’t remember much from when I was 10 so it was good to go see them all. It all means a bit more now playing for Wales.”
Caleb Aekins wants to represent Wales in honour of his family
Aekins made 19 appearances in the NRL for Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders between 2018-21.
And he has made a fine start to life at Leigh, scoring four tries in as many games.
Aekins, who is also of Maori and Irish descent, would love to honour his family by pulling on the red jersey of Wales in the World Cup.
He added: “I’m looking forward to putting on the Welsh jersey if it comes about and representing my family.
“It would be everything to my mum. My grandfather as well, he was a proud Welshman, he was the one who took us over. He passed away a few years ago but I know it would mean everything to him. He would be proud.
“I’m in a WhatsApp with them (Wales) but other than generalised messages I haven’t spoken to them personally but I’m looking forward to getting to know them.”
Aekins’ family hail from Barry Island. And yes, he has heard of the famous TV show Gavin & Stacey!
He added: “I’ve heard all about it last week! I went to a cafe there and it was plastered over the wall everywhere, so I now I know about it!”