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International: John Kear relishing Welsh challenge

International: John Kear relishing Welsh challenge

by: Gareth Walker, July 22, 2014, 11:49 am

New Wales coach John Kear is confident he can help the side to an improved showing in the next World Cup, after succeeding Iestyn Harris last week.

Wales were one of the major disappointments of last year’s competition, after failing to get out of their group, despite their home advantage.

Kear, 59, has previously coached at international level with both England and France, and will be in charge for this autumn’s European Championships against Scotland, France and Ireland. He will continue in his current role as coach of Batley.

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“I’m really chuffed. It’s a job that really appealed to me,” Kear told this week’s League Express.

“It’s another part-time position that will dovetail in well with my current commitments at Batley.

“I just feel that it’s a job with great potential, and it fits in well with my beliefs as an internationalist as well.

“Like anything else when you’re a coach, you want to be able to contribute to the organisation and realise when you can make a difference.
“I feel as though I can.

“Perhaps Wales didn’t perform to their potential in the World Cup.
“As I saw it, the competition was ideal for Wales to progress to a home quarter-final against Australia at Wrexham, but they didn’t achieve that.

“In the medium term, they can have a better World Cup the next time.

“But the immediate goal is to make an impact this autumn.

“When I researched the squad, I saw that there were 16 players in that World Cup squad with extensive Super League experience.

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“If we can get that squad or a similar one together I feel there is some real potential to achieve.

“If you also look at the age profile, you have Peter Lupton at the top end, but there are certainly some good emerging Welsh players in there.”

Although reports state that Kear will be in charge until the next World Cup, League Express understands no contract has been signed.

Kear instead chose to shake hands with Wales RL Chairman Brian Juliff, which is how he operates at Batley.

Juliff said: “The appointment of John Kear as head coach brings a wealth of experience forged at the highest level of the game to Wales Rugby League.

“His knowledge and proven ability to bring the very best out of his players makes him an ideal fit for Wales Rugby League at this formative time.

“It was important to bring in someone who shares our values and is committed to our vision to be a top-four Rugby League nation in governance and performance.

“John’s immediate challenge is to balance a young but very capable Wales squad into a winning team at this year’s European Championship and thereafter lay the foundation for success at the Rugby League World Cup 2017.

“I look forward to building a strong and supportive relationship with John to underpin the undoubted potential of Wales Rugby League.”

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