Idris Evans, Wales Rugby League’s national Development Manager, hopes that players in their senior squad who have come through the domestic leagues and are about to face Italy and Serbia in Pool A of the World Cup, the European Qualifiers, can inspire future generations.
Many of the squad have progressed through the community game and gone on to play at the highest level in both hemispheres.
On the back of European Championship success last year, Wales are determined to book their place at the World Cup, and Evans believes that participation in the global event should spur on the crop of new young players currently developing across the Principality.
“We are excited, when a World Cup comes around, as we get to see the fruit of our community game on display yet again,” said Evans. “Having such players in the squad as Elliot Kear, Gil Dudson, Lloyd White, Ben Flower and Dalton Grant clearly shows that the community game in Wales develops first class players, fully able to compete on an international stage when given the opportunity. Players who will be showcasing skills developed with teams like Cardiff Demons, Newport Titans and Bridgend Blue Bulls before going on to play professionally in Super League, the Cahmpionship and beyond.
“I’m sure that in five or six years’ time, we will be seeing players pull on the shirt of Wales who have come through the ranks at Torfaen Tigers, South Wales Rabbitohs, Aber Valley Wolves and the like.”