Wales propose to face England in double header for NHS Cup

Drew Darbyshire

Wales have proposed to England that they face each other in a double header this autumn to celebrate the NHS and key workers in the UK.

England men are due to take on Australia in a three-match test series in October and November, while Wales are scheduled to face Ireland and Spain in the European Championships.

But if the Ashes series between Engladn and Australia doesn’t go ahead, Wales Rugby League chief executive Gareth Kear would love Wales and England to meet in a men and women’s double header for the NHS Cup.

Kear said: “Hope is an important factor in life. We will have rugby league this year, if it’s safe to do so. All of players in Wales are ready to go, whilst our men’s and women’s head coaches John Kear and Craig Taylor both fully support this and I’ve already made some initial discussions with the Rugby Football League.

“Let’s play for an NHS Cup and invite key workers in for free. This way, we can recognise the sadness of friends and loved ones lost, respect the sacrifice of so many, and then celebrate a new beginning.

“It would be a great occasion anywhere in England or Wales. Our women’s side beat England’s second string last autumn and they’re all in lockdown training now, and training hard. I know they’d like a stab at the full England side.

“Also, wouldn’t it also be good if the Wales and England Wheelchair sides could meet on the same weekend too and make the cup a best of three? At Wheelchair level, we got close to beating England last year and would love to take them on again.”

Kear has confirmed that if the country is out of lockdown by the autumn and it’s safe to play travel and play rugby, then Wales will take on Jamaica in a double header in Cardiff – men and women – for the Billy Boston Cup on the weekend of October 17-18.

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