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Wales RL World Cup 2013/General News

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I ended up buying a ticket for the Wales vs USA game having thought I couldn't make it. Looking forward to it having never been to Wrexham before (going to the QF as well).

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Ramada Plaza Wrexham aides Wales’ bid for Rugby League World Cup 2013 glory

 

Ramada Plaza Wrexham has become the latest local business to #GetBehindWales at Rugby League World Cup 2013.The hotel will host the Wales squad ahead of their match against the USA Tomahawks on Sunday November 3rd at the Racecourse Stadium.

Wrexham will host two matches at the global sporting event of 2013. As well as Wales’ game against USA, the famous stadium will also be the venue for the Quarter Final clash between the winners of Group A & D – a potential blockbuster showdown which could feature Wales vs. either Australia or England.

Staff at the Ramada are now busy making final preparations ahead of the squad’s arrival at the end of the month.

Wales Team Manager Bob Wilson said: “The support we’ve had from the both the North Wales public and businesses has been second to none and we’re delighted to be teaming up with the Ramada Plaza Wrexham for Rugby League World Cup 2013.

“The hotel’s excellent facilities and proximity to the stadium made the Ramada the ideal choice for our time here in Wrexham. Iestyn Harris and the squad have used the Ramada in the past and commented on how friendly and accommodating the staff are on every occasion.

“The team are very excited to be playing in Wrexham during the Rugby League World Cup 2013 and staying at the Ramada Plaza Wrexham will provide us with the best possible preparation ahead of the USA game on November 3rd.

Kirsty Clark from Ramada Plaza Wrexham said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to host Wales during the Rugby League World Cup 2013. We have enjoyed hosting the squad in the past and we hope to play a big part in their bid for glory.

“We understand the importance of ensuring that the players are well rested and we have worked closely with the teams strength and conditioning coach to maintain the players essential dietary requirements. Our care of all the players will be second to none.

“The fact that we will have world class athletes staying at our hotel is a glowing endorsement of our facilities and we will be cheering on Wales when they take on USA at the Racecourse on Sunday 3rdNovember.”

Cllr Neil Rogers, Leader of Wrexham Council said: “We are now less than a month away from Rugby League World Cup 2013 arriving in Wrexham and you can sense the excitement around the town.

“We saw the kind of impact Team Lesotho had when they stayed in Wrexham during their pre-Olympics training camp last year and we’re hoping the Wales Rugby League Squad will create a huge buzz during their stay in Wrexham.

“A big part of our successful bid to host matches at Rugby League World Cup 2013 was based around community engagement. The Wales squad will take part in an open training session at Queensway Stadium and their will be other opportunities for fans and school children to meet the players during their time in North Wales.

“Iestyn Harris and his squad will be guaranteed a warm welcome during their time in Wrexham and we look forward to seeing the team in action at the Racecourse Stadium.”

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Head coach Clive Griffiths and assistant John Fieldhouse are both fully committed to North Wales Crusaders’ cause for life in the Championship in 2014.

The two former Warrington servants – who acted as a coach and player respectively at the Wire – have masterminded the progress of Crusaders since their formation back in late 2011, which has seen them gain promotion from Championship One in only their second year as well as securing the inaugural Northern Rail Bowl.

And Griffiths is excited to get going next season in what he describes as “another step forward in the right direction”.

“I think everyone’s looking forward to it”, he said. “It’s probably a bit ahead of scheduele from what we originally set out at the very start, but we’ll certainly take it.

“Everyone has seen the step up that the Championship is with the Northern Rail Cup final, which was after our final, and then the Finals Day last weekend.

“But we’re well equiped to deal with that and, if the boys continue to progress as they have done in the last two years, then we’ll be just fine.

“Obviously we’re going to have to strengthen in certain areas, but the players that have played for us in the last two years deserve to have their chance at this level.”

The coaching staff is a formula which has certainly worked so far for Crusaders – and Griffiths believes that continuity in that area is key as the club move forward.

“Chris Middlehurst won’t be involved as heavily next year, but it’s important that we keep the players together and then the coaching staff to go with it”, he said.

“It’s important to have continuity rather than swapping and changing things all the while; we’ve seen the effect that that can have with other sports.

“The task ahead is going to be tough – but I’m pretty confident that, all together, we’ll be able to mix it with the best.”

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North Wales Crusaders are pleased to present their Season Ticket choices for 2014! 2014 Season Tickets will include all 13 home games. Once again we are able to offer you the chance to take advantage of our ‘Early Bird’ prices.

To take advantage of the ‘Early Bird’ offer tickets need to be purchased prior to Dec 18th 2013. We are also able to offer you the chance to spread your payments with an installment option.

With a break from tradition North Wales Crusaders for 2014 are delighted to offer FREE season tickets to all youngsters. If you are 15 and under as of Jan 1st 2014 you will be entitled to a FREE season ticket. As detailed in our 2014 goals we hope this will encourage and grow support across the region. The FREE season tickets must be registered for through a season ticket application form.

For 2014 we have set a target to sell over 400 Season Tickets. We think the prices represent great value for money.

Here are our season ticket prices for 2014!

 

Ticket Early Bird Price

 

Before Dec 18th 2013 Normal Price

 

After Dec 18th 2013 Adult £145 £169 Child FREE FREE Concession & Student £99 £119 Family 2+2 £290 £290 Family 2+1 £290 £290 Family 1+1 £145 £145

In addition to our Season Ticket package we have the option for you to join our SQUAD BUILDER FUND. Our SQUAD BUILDER FUND will help North Wales Crusaders build for our Future.

As a member of the Squad Builder Fund you will receive a limited edition training top, access to all NWC Championship League games online, 3 x presentations / Q&A from the club throughout the season, access to the Rugby Lounge on home match days and the centenary Club after the game and a discount on the End of Season Awards. You will be able to register for the Squad Builder on the Season Ticket application form at only £5.99 a month.

The Squad Builder Fund is critical to make us competitive on the pitch in 2014. So we urge all of you who want to see our competitive entertaining style of rugby continue to sign up and support Squad Builder.

Season tickets offer great value for money and fall in line with what’s on offer from the other clubs in the Championship. Match Day Prices will be;

Adult £14
Concessions £9
Children £5
U’7’s FREE

Season tickets will be available online from Monday 14th Oct. You will also be able to download a form to complete and send into the office or collect an application form from the Sports centre at Glyndwr. Completed Season Ticket forms can be sent into North Wales Crusaders, Suite 3 Bryn Estyn Business Centre, Wrexham, LL13 9TY. You will be able to note your seat preference on all forms of application. Seat choices will be distributed on a loyalty basis (if the seat was bought by you in 2013, then on a first come first served basis).

Please note this year there are designated family areas and a ‘Crazy Cru’ zone for the more vocal amongst you who wish to be together to sing.

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Crusaders highly rated stars including Captain Andy Moulsdale, Stuart Reardon and Jono Smith have all signed on the dotted line for Crusaders as they head in to their 2014 campaign in the Kingstone Press Championship.

All three were influential in Crusaders’ double winning side of 2013 – who collected both the Championship One crown and inaugural Northern Rail Bowl – and were amongst the first that head coach Clive Griffiths wanted to sign up for next term.

The majority of the 2013 squad are hoped to stay for the inaugural season, supplemented by some new blood to make the squad even more competitive.

Head Coach Clive Griffiths said “These boys were fantastic for us last year and are more than capable of making the step up next year. they rightly attracted a lot of attention from other clubs, including the Super League, so to have secured their signature for next year is testament to how committed they are to the club. I’m pretty pleased with how the recruiting is going to be honest but the most important first step was to lock down the boys from last year.”

Chief Executive Jamie Thomas said on new signings “We pleased we got some new contracts signed and locked away of players coming to the Racec0urse for the first time as North Wales Crusaders players. For one reason or another we can’t start to release those names for another few days, but rest assured we’ve brought in some real quality on the way. But I think everyone will be delighted with the players who decided to stay on, which we’ll release the full list of over the next couple of days.”

 

http://www.northwalescrusaders.co.uk/squad-takes-shape-for-2014/

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North Wales Crusaders have unveiled their new 2014 shirt today and announced a new deal with kit manufacturer Titan Rugby.

The new black and red strip sporting the dragons head will be on sale from the mid-to-end of November and will replace the black ‘Glyndwr’ kit was used mainly for the 2012 season.

The club will continue to use the 2013 ‘Dragon kit’ but updated for the 2014 season, but next year this will become the secondary strip.

Speaking about the kit launch, Head of Commercial Hanna Clarke said “We’re really excited about the new kit, we think it looks fantastic and has that bit of stand out that we thought we achieved with the Dragon Kit this year.”

“As opposed to last year we won’t be taking pre-orders, but will have a large stock available in November. The price of the kit is also going to be reduced for the 2014 season, coming down to £39.99 for adults and £33.99 for kids.”

“We’re really pleased with the quality of the shirts and hope to see them out in force on the first game of the season.”

 

http://www.northwalescrusaders.co.uk/crusaders-unveil-new-2014-shirt/

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Saints Anthony Walker made his debut for his home team and now has the chance to represent his country in the World Cup… It’s not been a bad year for Anthony Walker!

 

The 21-year-old prop forward has had a remarkable season. He got the nod for Saints back in February - making his debut away at Bradford - and went on to make eight more appearances.

 

Now, he’s been called up for Wales for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup.

 

“My granddad is Welsh so I qualify through him and it is something I have always wanted to do,” he said. “When I started playing rugby I wanted to represent Wales as my granddad was a big influence on my career.

 

“I put my name forward earlier in the season and when I got the message I was in the initial 40 man squad I thought that was a good achievement.

 

“But when Iestyn [Harris] called me to say I had made the final cut I was shocked… but it was a nice surprise.

 

“Being 21 and playing in a World Cup, in your own country, that is something you can tell the grandkids about when you’re older. Not many people have done that.

 

“I now have to work hard in training and in our friendly game to have a real shout.”

 

Wales will take on Italy at the Millennium Stadium on October 26th, USA in Wrexham on November 3rd and the Cook Islands in Neath on November 10th and Walker is excited by all three clashes.

 

“It would be good to get selected to play against Italy. Not only will it be in the Millennium Stadium and in front of a packed house, but I would also be up against my teammate Anthony Laffranchi. It’s always good to face your mates.

 

“The game against USA would be big for me too. I would have a lot of family in Wrexham supporting me and that would make me proud.

 

“Cook Islands will be a tough match. I played against some of the Islanders when I was on tour in Australia with Saints Academy and they certainly let you know you’ve been in a tackle. It was brutal.”

 

Anthony met up with this team-mates yesterday (Wednesday October 9) at Colwyn Bay and will move on to Celtic Manor for the tournament following next week’s friendly match. He hopes he will be allowed to take his golf clubs too!

 

“I’m looking forward to the experience,” he adds. “We want to do well and we know if we get though the group then we could possibly face Australia or England in the quarter finals at Wrexham.

 

“That would be special. Every player wants to face the best in the world and we want to do that.”

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Wales have called up St George Illawarra forward Tyson Frizell to their World Cup squad.

 

Frizell was initially ruled out through injury but coach Iestyn Harris kept a place open in his squad and he has now been named in the 24-man squad.

Frizell made his debut for Wales against Ireland in 2011 and played in the subsequent Four Nations Series, but he missed last year's autumn international series through injury.

He has made 22 appearances for St George Illawarra this season and, if he does regain fitness, he will be Wales' only NRL representative.

"We were initially told that he was ruled out completely due to injury," said Harris.

"But our head physiotherapist Ben Stirling has been in contact with his club in Sydney and they are now saying that his injury is recovering a lot quicker than they expected.

"They will know by next week whether he will be fit or not and, if it's positive news, then we'll be delighted to have him over here playing for Wales once again.

"His inclusion would mean that we will have 15 players in our side who have played at the highest level this season which would be the most we've had in many years."

Wales play a warm-up match against a Wales Rugby League Select XIII at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay on October 15 to prepare for their World Cup opener against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on October 26.

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Olympic hero Tom James to #GetBehindWales at Rugby League World Cup 2013

 

Wrexham’s Olympic hero Tom James has backed the town to get behind Rugby League World Cup 2013. 

The home town hero was speaking a year on from his triumph at London 2012, where he secured an amazing second Olympic Gold Medal as part of the men’s coxless four. 

Wrexham will host two matches at this autumn’s Rugby League World Cup 2013. The first match see’s Wales take on USA on Sunday November 3rd before the famous Racecourse Ground hosts a Quarter Final between the winners of Group A & Group D on Saturday November 16. 

And as the first global sporting event to be held on British soil since the Olympics, Tom James hopes Rugby League World Cup 2013 will create a similar buzz in Wrexham. 

“It is fantastic news for the town,” he said 

“Wrexham has seen its fair share of big occasions in the past and the town has shown it is more than capable of hosting major events such as the RLWC2013. The more big events that come our way, the better and I hope this sets precedence for more major sporting events coming Wrexham’s way. 

London 2012’S motto was ‘Inspire a Generation’ – with millions of young trying new sports as a result. And James hopes Rugby League World Cup 2013 will have a similar effect with more local being inspired to take up a sport. 

He added: “For me, what is important is having people who are the best at what they do coming to the town. No matter what sport you follow or take part in, seeing world class athletes on your doorstep is always inspiring in my opinion.  

“Having a major global event like the Rugby League World Cup 2013 taking place in our town is fantastic and hopefully it will inspire people to take a greater interest in local sport. It really is brilliant for the town. The fact that we have the Wales squad staying and training here n Wrexham is an added bonus. 

“I used to play quite a bit of rugby when I was at school and I have a lot of respect for people who play the sport. Rugby League players are incredible athletes – they’re all pretty big guys but they’re also pretty quick on their feet. 

“Rugby League is a fast paced and physical game and I’m sure people back in Wrexham will truly embrace the tournament when it comes to town later this year.”

Show your support for the Wales Rugby League side by using the hashtag #GetBehindWales and by viewing the video on Wrexham Council’s Youtube channel www.youtube.com/wrexhamcouncil

Tickets for Wrexham’s RLWC2013 are available for as little as £5 for concessions and £10 for adults.

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Wales coach Iestyn Harris says success at the Rugby League World Cup will be reaching the last eight.

Harris's side face Italy in their opening game in Cardiff on 26 October.

Wales are likely to face England or Australia in the quarter-final should they win Group D.

"If we've hit the quarter-finals and we're in a position to take one of them two giants on then ultimately that will have been a successful World Cup for us," Harris said.

"Obviously you look how strong the like of England, New Zealand [and] Australia are.

"To actually say we are going to go out and win, obviously that's everybody's holy grail and end game.

"But it is going to be a daunting task to do that and I think what we've always spoken about is improvement as a group.

WALES' GROUP FIXTURES
  • 26 Oct - Italy (Cardiff)
  • 3 Nov - USA (Wrexham)
  • 10 Nov - Cook Islands (Neath)

"And if we improve as a group from where we've been over the last three or four years, that will be a quarter-final place, which possibly will be against England or Australia.

"And then it comes down to 80 minutes of rugby league."

Harris was a key member of the Wales side which reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1995, losing 25-10 against England at Old Trafford.

Wales, with Harris as captain, also reached the quarter-finals in 2000, losing to Australia but failed to qualify for the 2008 tournament.

Harris was appointed Wales head coach in 2009 and he led them to the European Nations Cup in 2010, which secured a place in the following year's Four Nations.

They lost to New Zealand, England and Australia in the competition and Harris hopes the World Cup can be the springboard for future success.

"We want to be as consistent as we can for us as a nation, for the players themselves, and we don't want to be a flash in the pan every World Cup," Harris added.

"All of a sudden you're a different kettle of fish than what you were in the non-World Cup years because all your players have left and are back in Australia and they don't want to play unless it's a World Cup.

"We want that little bit more consistency about it.

"We want to be challenging for international honours, not now, not in four years, but for the next 10. For the next 20 years we want to get stronger and stronger.

"And to do that you've got to have that consistency. You've got to have that youth structure and everybody within Wales Rugby League has bought into that.

"So we're hopeful that we're going to have a successful World Cup this time."

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Wales Select has named a 21-man squad to face the full Wales side in a friendly match at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay next Tuesday (kick-off 6pm).

 

Eleven of the side are selected from Championship One sides North Wales Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions and Gloucestershire All Golds with the remainder being Wales Students and Dragonhearts internationals.

 

The friendly is designed to give the Wales players a competitive run out just a week after they go into camp, while it will give the Welsh XIII players experience they can take back into their clubs next season.

 

Grady, who normally coaches Warrington Wizards and Wales Dragonhearts, said: “I’m very honoured to coach the side and I'm also massively excited about it. To come up against Iestyn Harris, Lee Briers and the Wales first team is massive.

 

“Representative jobs are few and far between and to have been given the opportunity with Wales Dragonhearts and now the Wales Select is fantastic for my development, I'm very grateful to Wales RL for these opportunities. On top of that I'm coaching elite players that represent their country at different level and also semi pro players, which in itself is an honour to be involved with such a group.

 

“Obviously the opposition we are up against are quality, I want the lads just to stand up and make a good account of themselves. Our players will be looking at learning from their players and what standard they need to aim for if they have ambitions to make a Wales squad.

 

“It's great that Wales are giving the lads the chance to play on a big stage against the country's elite, surely something that's unique in Rugby League at the moment as I've not heard any other country doing it. It's a Wales Select so these boys are considered the best of the rest, and I'm sure they will do themselves proud.”

 

Wales v Wales Rugby League Select XIII is at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay on October 15th (kick-off 6pm). Tickets are £10 seated, £5 standing. Call 01492 577900 for more information or go to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk.

 

WELSH LEAGUE XIII SQUAD

 

Name

Position

Club

Andy Mousdale

Half Back

North Wales Crusaders

Jamie Dallimore

Half Back

North Wales Crusaders

Dan Birkett

Wing

North Wales Crusaders

Troy Brophy

Full Back

North Wales Crusaders

Phil Carleton

Centre

South Wales Scorpions

Ashley Bateman

Loose

South Wales Scorpions

Tom Morgan

Prop/Centre

South Wales Scorpions

Matt Wilcox

Utility

South Wales Scorpions

Chris Davies

Prop

South Wales Scorpions

Kasey Hurley

Full Back

South Wales Scorpions

Yannick Parker

Centre

Gloucestershire All Golds

Kyle Scrivens

Centre

Torfaen Tigers / Wales Dragonhearts

Scott Britton

Prop

Valley Cougars / Wales Dragonhearts

Martin Luckwell

Hooker

Valley Cougars / Wales Dragonhearts

Anthony Tilley

Prop

Conwy Celts / Wales Dragonhearts

Alan Pope

2nd Row

Bonymaen Broncos / Wales Dragonhearts

Neil Dallimore

Prop/Loose

Cardiff Demons / Wales Dragonhearts

Victor Coker

Prop

Cardiff Demons / Wales Students

Izaak Duffy

Prop/Loose

Cardiff Demons / Wales Students

Louis Singleton

Hooker

Cardiff Demons / Wales Students

Callum Bennett

Half Back

Prestatyn and Rhyl Panthers / Wales Students

 

 

 

Mike Grady

Head Coach

Paul Emmanuelli

Assistant Coach

Allen Jones

Assistant Coach

Mark Jones

Team Manager

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England showed Wales what Super League experience does for you, as they took control of this academy international after half-time to romp home for a 38-0 win.

 

It was always going to be tough for the Welsh. Twelve of the home side came from Championship 1 side South Wales Scorpions while in contrast, eight of the England players have already made their Super League debuts.

 

But the Welsh battled throughout the game, especially in the first half where they continually denied England tries while also creating some good opportunities themselves.

 

Wales had a chance to lead in the first ten minutes after they won a scrum on England’s ten-metre line. The wet conditions were already taking their toll at this early stage and three more knock-ons later with the ball constantly changing hands, the opportunity was lost.

 

Another chance fell to Wales early on, this time from wiry hooker Connor Farrer who attempted to ground underneath the England back-line, but pressure caused him to drop the ball when diving for the line.

 

It was then England’s turn to go on the rampage and they had six opportunities to score in less than 10 minutes.

 

The first was on the 20 minute mark when Wigan’s Rob Lever was pulled back, and rightly so, for a forward pass.

 

Bradford’s Alex Mellor also thought he’d scored when he slid through in the corner on the final tackle of a good England set, but he was stopped centimetres short of the line.

 

Chris Leyshon nicely picked up Ryan Hampshire’s grubber on the final tackle of England’s next set to again stop the visitors from scoring.

 

Nathan Conroy was held up over the line, Jacob Morgan caught a high bomb, then an England grubber went too far and Wales were again safe.

 

But finally, on the half-hour, the English broke the deadlock when Warrington’s Toby King scored in the corner. Ryan Hampshire converted.

 

Wales looked to level straight away when Courtney Davies kicked a grubber aiming for Bradley Mais but the Welsh forward was too heavily marked and couldn’t get near the ball.

 

And after good pace from Lewis Tierney helped England win a scrum, they extended their lead to 12-0 at the break when Tom Walker grounded under the sticks and Hampshire added the extras.

 

England opened the second half well as, from a scrum, Tierney, the son of former dual code international Jason Robinson, showed pace his father would have been proud of by sprinting to the line for his side’s third try. Hampshire missed the kick.

 

Wales were cruelly denied a try in what looked to be a well-worked move culminating in Jordan Howells sliding over in the corner. But the touchjudge pulled play back for offside and from the resulting penalty, Jake Connor nabbed England’s fourth with Hampshire converting.

 

England’s superior fitness was showing. George Williams raced in for England’s fifth try of the game on 64 minutes. Five minutes later Oliver Gildart scored the sixth with Hampshire converting both to put England into a 34-0 lead.

 

Wigan’s Williams sprinted 40 metres for England’s seventh try but his club-mate Hampshire failed to convert on this occasion and the score remained at 38-0.

 

It was Dave Clark’s last match as Head of Performance in South Wales having been in charge of the Scorpions first team and WRL academies for the last two years and while he was disappointed not to get a win, he was pleased with the Welsh efforts.

 

“Our mentality in the first half was really good,” he said. “From where we are to where they are, we showed a lot of character in that first half. We were in an arm wrestle for so long, we couldn’t maintain that intensity in the second half. But I’m really proud of how they played, we were in really good shape and created some good opportunities. They gave it their all and I’m proud of them.”

 

Former Celtic Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions and Wales forward Geraint Davies, who coached the side in Sunday’s game under Clark’s watchful eye, now takes full charge for Friday’s second test, again at Taff’s Well RFC (kick-off 6.30pm).

 

“You’ve got to remember that most of our boys are only 18 and they played last week for the under 18s,” Davies said. “12-0 at half-time was pretty positive but we just let it go in the second half and I don’t think the score reflected the effort we put it.

 

“We need to cut our errors out in the second test on Friday. England were very good technically and you could tell a lot of them had played first team Super League. We’ve a lot to work on before Friday but if the boys can show the same guts as today then I’m sure we’ll do a lot better.”

 

England coach John Winder was proud of his side’s win.

 

“I’m really pleased,” he said. “To play in conditions like that is really tough. For the first 25 minutes it was like a proper test match and was really physical. Both sides went at it and I’m pleased that we stuck to it for the full 80 minutes and deserved the result.

 

“I thought Wales were very good and you can see that there’s a lot of good development work being done down here. There were some really strong signs of that, especially in the first half. They were really committed and passionate and I know they will be again this Friday.”

 

The second academy test – Wales v England – this Friday 18th October, kicks off at 6.30pm at Taff’s Well RFC. Admission is £5 adults, £3 for children.

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Wales captain Craig Kopczak can’t wait for the action to start as his side take to the field tomorrow (Tuesday) to take on a Welsh Select XIII at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay (kick-off 6pm).

 

The Welsh are preparing for their Rugby League World Cup campaign which starts on Saturday 26th October when Wales face Italy at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the Huddersfield Giants forward knows that there is a lot of work to do over the next fortnight.

 

“It’s exciting times,” he said. “We have quite a strong squad with a lot of Super League experience and we’ve gelled well together since our last tournament, so we can take that into the World Cup and start well.

 

“We haven’t met up as a whole squad for a while so I suppose that’s what the camp is for, but playing the game at international level is totally different. Every game is fantastic.”

 

The Welsh players have been in camp since last Wednesday and while this Tuesday’s game is important to Wales’ preparations, the 26-year old will be looking forward to leading his country out at one of the world’s greatest sporting arenas.

 

“It will be an unbelievable achievement for myself to lead the Wales side out at the Millennium Stadium,” he said. “I can’t wait for opening day against Italy and I’m sure it will rank as one of the highlights of my career.

 

“I think we’re in with a very good chance of doing well in this World Cup. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I rate our chances because we do have some fantastic players.

 

“We’ve just had some Welsh boys in the Super League Grand Final as well, so their experience of the big occasion could prove invaluable.

 

“We’re a lot stronger as a nation now and that leads right down to the youth as well, so it’s looking good for Welsh Rugby League.”

 

So who does he think will win the World Cup at Old Trafford on Saturday 30th November?

 

“Wales,” he said. “But every nation is really strong this time around and it is early days to be making such predictions, but, if we don’t get there, then you do have to be looking at England, New Zealand and Australia.

 

“Like I say, every one of those 14 teams are strong and I think that only bodes well for the competition.”

 

Wales v Wales Rugby League Select XIII is at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay on October 15th (kick-off 6pm). Tickets are £10 seated, £5 standing. Call 01492 577900 for more information or go to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk.

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Schools across Wrexham have snapped up over a thousand tickets for matches at Rugby League World Cup 2013.

Pupils across the country borough have been eager to be part of the global sporting event of 2013, as the town prepares to host two matches. 

Children are also being offered a series of money-can’t-buy opportunities, such as the chance to be mascot, flagbearer, or form a guard of honour for the teams as they enter the field of play.

Wrexham’s  first match will see the Dragons take on USA on November 3 (2.00pm), before the Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium hosts a Quarter Final on November 16  (1.00pm), which would see Wales return to the town if they finish top of their group.

Lead Member for Health Cllr David Griffiths said: "Our schools have really taken to Rugby League and that’s a testament to the great development work being carried out by our community coaches. 

"I’m delighted that schools have snapped up such a large number of tickets for Rugby League World Cup 2013.

"We’ve got two massive games being played here in Wrexham and it’s going to great seeing areas of the stadium packed with enthusiastic young people enjoying the game.

"I’m also really pleased that they can be truly part of the game by taking advantage of these money can’t buy opportunities.

"We’re just three weeks away from Wales v USA and it is great to hear that tickets are selling so well. Some areas of the stadium are now close to selling out so we’d urge people to buy their tickets in advance."

The high interest in the tournament follows the outstanding work being undertaken by the town’s community coaches. Rugby League is widely played in schools across the county borough and is now one of the most popular sports in terms of pupil participation.

Community Rugby League Coach for North East Wales Allen Jones said: “Schools have definitely caught the Rugby League bug.

"I think everyone is switching on to the fact that the global sporting event of 2013 is coming to this part of the world and the children are genuinely excited about it.

"In terms of the sports development, this tournmament will have a massive effect. For young people going to the matches in Wrexham, it provides them with the opportunity to see the game being played at the highest level and the chance to be part of a major global sporting event.

"Hopefully they will come away from the Racecourse inspired to give the game a go."

Wales face Italy at the Millennium Stadium on October 26, before their clash against USA in Wrexham on November 3 and a showdown with Cook Islands in Neath in their final group match on November 10.

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Rugby League World Cup 2013 organisers have confirmed details of the hotly-anticipated Opening Ceremony at the Millennium Stadium on October 26.

Involving specially-designed lighting, original music, and a dance extravaganza created by some of the UK’s leading choreographers, the spectacular opening to RLWC2013 will involve more than 1,500 performers.

Noted classical singer Camilla Kerslake will sing 'God Save The Queen' ahead of England's clash with Australia. Kerslake has sung for the Queen and an audience of 140,000 people at the Epsom Derby.

Music at the ceremony will also include performances from female classical-pop quartet Escala and Welsh ‘Queen of the Harps’ Catrin Finch, and a mass choir of a thousand voices.

Finch’s CD The Celtic Concerto went to number one this year in the classical charts. In 2000, she was appointed Royal Harpist to HRH The Prince of Wales, a position which she held for four years reviving the ancient tradition of a post last held in 1873.

The dance performance will feature Opening Ceremony presenter Gethin Jones and Martin Offiah doing the jive with their original Strictly Come Dancing partners, Camilla Dallerup and Erin Boag.

RLWC2013 ambassador Gareth Thomas will also be putting on his dancing shoes, joining hundreds of elite and community dancers on the Cardiff pitch. He will dance with 50 professional dancers, among the best in the UK.

They Will be joined by 500 dancers from local communities in Wales and South West England as part of a £1 million project part-funded by the Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales, and supported by the charity Wooden Spoon.

RLWC2013 Ambassador, Martin Offiah said: “I’ll be reunited with my Strictly partner Erin Boag. I have to say I’m nervous but also very excited. I might take a little grief from the fans but it should be good fun.”

RLWC2013 Tournament General Manager, Sally Bolton said: "It is amazing that Strictly Come Dancing, one of the biggest shows on the BBC, have agreed to be a key part of the Opening Ceremony. To have Gethin Jones and Martin Offiah as part of that will be a real treat for the crowd.

“But there is more than just dance to look forward to. Music from Camilla Kerslake, Catrin Finch and Escala will also give the show a real touch of quality and vibrancy to complement the matches to follow.

"And there’ll be dramatic lighting, special effects, and an aerial show celebrating the 14 nations taking part in what promises to be a great tournament, the first major sporting event taking place in the UK since London 2012.

"All in all, the atmosphere under the closed roof of the Millennium Stadium is going to be electric, so it’s really important that fans are in their seats by 1.30pm.  It’s a show not to be missed."

Make sure you #bethere from the start for the global sporting event of 2013, to witness a spectacular show and two epic international Rugby League encounters under the closed roof at one of world sport's most atmospheric stadia.

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WORLD CUP WARM UPGAME

 

WALES 62 WELSH SELECT XIII 12

 

By Gareth Jones at Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay

Wales warmed up for their Rugby League World Cup campaign with a comfortable win over a Welsh Select XIII in Colwyn Bay.

Iestyn Harris fielded a strong squad, which was dominated by Super League talent, against the cream of the Welsh club scene.

This exhibition match provided Wales with a much-needed hit out ahead of the Rugby League World Cup 2013, with standout performances from the Evans twins, St Helens Anthony Walker and scrum-half Matty Seamark.

Predictably, Wales looked strong from the kick-off and left the Select shell-shocked with a quick-fire double courtesy of Warrington’s Ben Evans and Wigan’s Rhodri Lloyd.

Full-back Rhys Evans was the architect of the third try, setting his Warrington team-mate Rhys Williams up with a lovely one-armed offload out wide. Christiaan Roets  extended Wales’ lead and Dan Fleming was quickest to react when Troy Brophy spilled White’s hanging bomb.

The one way traffic continued with an effort from Lloyd White and North Wales Crusaders’ Rob Massam but it was the Select who ended the first half on a high.  Scrum-half Jamie Dallimore found his Crusaders team mate Dan Birkett with a inch-perfect cross-field kick to ensure they away side went into the interval with a deserved try.

The Select came out for the second half all guns blazing, but Wales struck first when Matty Seamark put new-boy James Guertjens through a hole in the opposition line.

Dallimore then hit back for the Select with a brilliant individual try which saw him pounce after his neat grubber kick found its way over the whitewash.

That effort spurred Wales to kick-on into a higher gear saw Wales kick into a higher gear, with Jordan James and Elliot Kear getting on the score sheet to further extend Wales’ lead.

And Ben Evans scored his second in the final five minutes to complete matters as Wales now focus their attentions on the World Cup and Italy at the Millennium Stadium on the opening day, Saturday 26th October.

 

WALES

1              Rhys Evans (Warrington Wolves)

2              Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls)

3              Rhodri Lloyd (Wigan Warriors)

4              Christiaan Roets (North Wales Crusaders)

5              Rhys Williams (Warrington Wolves)

6              Lloyd White (Widnes Vikings)

7              Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)

8              Jordan James (Salford Red Devils)

9              Neil Budworth (Moranbah Miners)

10           Craig Kopczak (Huddersfield Giants)

11           Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls)

12           Ross Divorty (Halifax)

13           Jake Emmitt (Salford Red Devils)

Subs (all used)

14           Peter Lupton (Workington Town)

15           James Geurtjens (Norths Devils)

16           Anthony Walker (St Helens)

17           Dan Fleming (Castleford Tigers)

18           Rob Massam (North Wales Crusaders)

 

Tries: B.Evans (4, 35), Lloyd (6), Williams (8), Roets (19), Fleming (25), White (34), Massam (36), Geurtjens (48), James (59), Kear (69)

Goals: White 8/9, Seamark 1/2

 

WELSH SELECT XIII

1              Troy Brophy (North Wales Crusaders)

2              Dan Birkett (North Wales Crusaders)

3              Yannic Parker (Gloucestershire All Golds)

4              Kyle Scrivens (Torfaen Tigers)

5              Curtis Cunningham (Gloucestershire All Golds)

6              Andy Moulsdale (North Wales Crusaders)

7              Jamie Dallimore (North Wales Crusaders)

8              Izaak Duffy (Cardiff Demons)

9              Louis Singleton (Cardiff Demons)

10           Scott Britton (Valley Cougars)

11           Phil Carleton (South Wales Scorpions)

12           Thomas Gwyn Morgan (South Wales Scorpions)

13           Ashley Bateman (South Wales Scorpions)

Subs (all used)

14           Victor Coker (Cardiff Demons)

15           Alan Pope (Bonymaen Broncos)

16           Ian Marshall (Conwy Celts)

17           Calum Bennett (Prestatyn and Rhyl Panthers)

18           Anthony Tilley (Conwy Celts)

19           Kasey Hurley (South Wales Scorpions)

20           Chris Davies (South Wales Scorpions)

 

Tries: Birkett (40), Dallimore (51)

Goals: Dallimore 1/1, Birkett 1/1

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Iestyn Harris says that he is happy with the shape of his squad as they prepare to begin their Rugby League World Cup 2013 campaign.

 

Wales warmed up for the tournament with a comfortable 62-12 victory over a Welsh Select XIII at Colwyn Bay’s Eirias Park on Tuesday evening.

 

The game was the squad’s final hit out ahead of their World Cup opener against Italy at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff on October 26th.

 

And following a week of intense training in North Wales, Harris said he was pleased that the bulk of the squad got some game time against the Select.

 

“It has been a good week for us and we’ve hit a fair bit of intensity in training,” he said.

 

“We had some sore bodies going into the game, which is what we wanted.

 

“We never expected the perfect performance but it has given the players a chance to get some game time under their belt. We were quite happy with the outcome and the Welsh Select side came into the game with a great mentality. They wanted to have a dig and they wanted to show what they could do as well. I thought it was a good game.

 

“I’m happy with the squad at the moment. Some of the guys are a little dusty as they haven’t played for four to five weeks so it was important for them to get this hit out.”

 

Harris fielded a strong squad against the Select, which primarily featured Super League talent and he singled out twin brothers Ben and Rhys Evans for special praise

 

He said: “Ben was with us last year and he always gives you a 100% so you can’t ask for more than that. Rhys gives us some pace in the backs and a little bit of movement that we perhaps didn’t have before. He’s settled into the team extremely well and I thought he looked really sharp against the Select.

 

“We perhaps weren’t at our slickest but we’ve got Ben Flower, Gil Dudson, Larne Patrick and Ian Webster to put into the mix, and potentially Tyson Frizell when he comes over. We’ll be a decent prospect when we’ve got everyone on the field.

 

Wales’ attention now focuses on Italy, who have named a strong squad ahead of their Rugby League World Cup debut.

 

NRL stars such as Anthony and Mark Minachello, Aiden Guerra and Dean Parata have made themselves available to play for Italy, alongside St Helens’ Anthony Laffranchi.

 

And Harris is expecting a tough battle when the two sides clash on October 26th.

 

He added: “Italy have talked themselves up in terms of what they’re going to bring to the World Cup. They’ve got some quality players in the squad and you know that they’re going to test you in certain areas. It’s our priority to make sure our preparation is right and this week has allowed us to get that. We’re having a good build up to the Italy game in Cardiff and everyone knows the structure.”

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The second row partnership of Toby Adamson and Gary Middlehurst will stay intact at Crusaders for 2014 after both players signed contract extensions with the club.

 Both played a vital role in Crusaders’ double success last term – forming a lethal partnership – and will be just as important when the Championship campaign comes around.

Head coach Clive Griffiths said: “Naturally I’m delighted that both lads have decided to carry on with us and the journey that we’re on.

“Both of them played a massive part in our promotion push last year; Gary won Players Player of the Year and Toby won Young Player of the Year so that emphasis the value of both players to the side and the club.

“They’re both great lads and they should be able to raise their game in the Championship next year.

“They’re well up with our tactics and structures – it’s not like signing a new player – and they know how we play and are aiming to play.

“It’s really important that we keep that continuity going with our squad.”

Adamson said: “Other clubs have shown their interest in me, but I always wanted to sign for Crusaders.

“I’ve had a great time here since I signed and the only thing I wanted to do was to sign on again.”

The 23-year-old received plenty of plaudits for his performances towards the end of 2013 – and he believes that he can carry that on in to next season.

He commented: “I got in the Team of the Week and Team of the Month towards the end of last season so I was really pleased with that.

“Hopefully I’ll carry on that form in the pre-season games and then when the league starts up again.

“I’m pleased that Gary has signed on again. He plays a little bit like myself – a bit of a work horse – so it’ll be great to play alongside him once again.”

Although Adamson is aware of the challenge that Crusaders face when they step up a division, he believes with the right recruitment they will fit right in.

“We’ll be okay at Championship level as long as we take part in the right recruitment during pre-season”, he said.

“We should keep the bulk of our squad from last year but, with additions in the right place where they’re needed, we should give it a good go and be pushing for around mid-table.”

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Wales international Ben Flower sees no reason why Iestyn Harris' men cannot ruffle some feathers when this month's Rugby League World Cup starts.

Flower has enjoyed a Double-winning season to remember with Wigan after being part of the now defunct Crusaders outfit that withdrew from Super League at the end of the 2011 campaign.

The Cardiff-born forward is now aiming to pick up from where he left off in the Grand Final at Old Trafford when he runs out at the Millennium Stadium for the Dragons' opening World Cup game against Italy on October 26.

Harris has assembled an interesting mix of players and 25-year-old Flower is looking forward to playing alongside the fresh faces in Wales' squad.

"I can't wait to get into camp and meet up with all the Welsh boys, some I've recently played with or against and some new ones coming in. It's always nice to get some fresh faces," explained Flower.

"I think 90 per cent of our boys are Super League and we've got a couple from the NRL as well as some Queensland Cup and Championship lads in there, so I think we've a great squad that can definitely do some damage in the World Cup.

Good start

"We need to make sure we have a good start, especially in front of all the Welsh fans down in Wales, and kick on from there."

Italy, who came through the qualifiers, have bolstered their squad with no fewer than 12 players from the NRL, including former Kangaroo internationals Anthony Minichiello and Craig Gower.

Flower, a true-blood Welshman, has no problem with the Azzurri using the grandparental eligibility rule.

"At the end of the day, we've got boys who don't play in Wales and are not fully born and bred Welsh but they've got relatives who are Welsh," he continued.

"If that's case for them then so be it. It doesn't make any difference to us.

"We've just got to make sure we go out and get the win. They're going to be a tough team to beat so we are going to have to be on our game at the Millennium."

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Rugby League World Cup: Welsh squad takes a break in preparation with a Snowdonia National Park visit - pictures

Wales-Rugby-League-03-6178212.jpg

The Wales rugby league squad prepare to take on ‘Go Below’, an adventure activity in North Wales

With just two weeks to go until the Rugby League World Cup kicks off in Cardiff, the Welsh squad took a short breather from their intense training regime with a visit to Snowdonia National Park.

Manager Bob Wilson discovered ‘Go Below’, an adventure activity in North Wales guiding people through underground disused mines, run by husband and wife team Miles and Jennifer Moulding.

The coach decided to take the squad on the activity before continuing preparations for their pool matches against Cook Islands and USA.

Jennifer said: “It’s an adventurous journey.

Wales-Rugby-League-02-6178211.jpg
“We enter the mine on one side and exit on the other via all the challenging activities we accomplish along the way.

“We boat across one chamber of water, zip line across another, abseil down into the next cavern and scale a waterfall before climbing the shaft that leads out into the light.”

The Welsh squad tackled the trip in record time.

Martin Poole, one of the senior mine exploring guides, said: “These guys are fit. They’re world class athlete’s. At times I struggled to keep up.”

 

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North Wales Crusaders are asking for donations to help Rob Massam compete in the RWC.

 

LINK TO ARTICLE

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hopefully iyestyn wont play lloyd white at stand off in the WC as for me that is by far his weakest position. either hooker or loose forward.

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League Express - Mon 10th April 2017

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