Wales name World Cup squad

Wales have named their 23-man squad for the World Cup, including 14 players from Super League.

Of the 14, eight are Welsh-born and have come through the Wales Rugby League development system, and five of whom are in contention for a Super League Grand Final appearance next Saturday.

Another of the Super League stars, Salford’s Jordan James, needs to play just four matches to overtake Ian Watson to become Wales’ most capped player. The opening game comes on the 10th anniversary of his international debut when on October 26th 2003 he scored a try in Wales’ 74-4 win over Russia in Aberavon.

There are four potential new caps in the squad including Anthony Walker, who made his Super League debut with St Helens this year, and Larne Patrick from Super League Leaders Shield winners Huddersfield Giants.

Patrick, with over 100 Super League appearances to his name, qualifies through a Welsh grandmother.

Warrington’s Rhys Evans, a Bridgend-born former Wales junior international, joins his twin brother Ben in the Wales squad for the first time while James Geurtjens from Queensland Cup side Norths Devils is the other newcomer.

There are two players from Championship 1 table-toppers North Wales Crusaders, Christiaan Roets and Rob Massam. No current players from South Wales Scorpions have made the Wales cut for the first time since their inception, but skipper Joe Burke is among the three stand-by players who are ready to step in if there are any injuries.

Wigan’s Andy Powell, Castleford’s Michael Channing and St George Illawarra’s Tyson Frizell have all been ruled out of the tournament by their respective clubs due to injuries.

Wales take on Italy on the opening day of the tournament, Saturday October 26, as part of a double-header with England and Australia.

Full squad: Neil Budworth (Moranbah Miners, Australia), Ross Divorty (Halifax), Gil Dudson, Ben Flower, Rhodri Lloyd (Wigan Warriors), Jake Emmitt, Jordan James (Salford Red Devils), Ben Evans, Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls), Rhys Evans, Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves), Dan Fleming (Castleford Tigers), James Geurtjens (Norths Devils, Australia), Danny Jones (Keighley Cougars), Craig Kopczak, Larne Patrick (Huddersfield Giants) Peter Lupton (Workington Town), Rob Massam, Christiaan Roets (North Wales Crusaders), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls, Australia), Anthony Walker (St Helens), Ian Webster (Central Queensland Capras, Australia), Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings).

Standby: Andy Bracek (Halifax), Joe Burke (South Wales Scorpions), Craig Moss (Keighley Cougars)

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