Wales look to the future as young Dragons tackle Cumbria in Kyle Amor’s testimonial

WALES coach John Kear will take a look into the future when the Dragons face Cumbria in former St Helens prop Kyle Amor’s testimonial at Whitehaven on Friday (7.30pm).

For the 20-strong Chairman’s XIII squad for the uncapped fixture includes twelve players not involved in the 2022 World Cup, when Wales last played.

Among them are Salford prop Charlie Glover and fullback Billy Walkley and Rochdale utility back Kyle Huish.

All three have been in Wales age-group squads, and Kear said: “There are some young players who will get the opportunity to show what they can do as we look ahead to full international fixtures next season.”

As well as Ireland international Amor, the match recognises outgoing Wales RL chairman Brian Juliff, and Kear continued: “It’s great to recognise the contributions of both, and it’s a game we’re looking forward to playing in.

“It’s also going to be a special evening for (Halifax prop) Dan Fleming, as he plays his final game before retiring.”

Meanwhile Whitehaven coach Jonty Gorley is enjoying joining forces with his Barrow counterpart Paul Crarey to lead Cumbria in the fixture after pitting his wits against him three times this year – and losing twice.

The LEL Arena side won 16-14 at Barrow on Good Friday but went down 32-16 at the Summer Bash in York in May and 23-22 at home in front of the Viaplay Sports television cameras in August.

Whitehaven and Barrow both flirted with the relegation zone before eventually staying up – in the former’s case, because of a marginally-better points difference than Keighley.

While Amor, 36, is best known for his success at Saints, he was born in Whitehaven and after playing for Cumbrian amateurs Hensingham, began his professional career at his hometown club, making 45 appearances before joining Leeds during the 2010 campaign (he also played for Wakefield, Warrington and Widnes before retiring earlier this year).

“It’s good to play a role in Kyle’s testimonial, and great that we’re staging it at Whitehaven,” said Gorley.

“The Cumbria side always attracts a lot of interest, and hopefully there will be good crowd down.

“For myself, working with Cresta (Crarey) is always good. We go back a long way, and he’s a great bloke who was helpful to me in the early stages of my coaching career.”

Wales squad: Caleb Aekins (Featherstone), Sam Bowring (Midlands Hurricanes), Max Clarke (Bradford), Connor Davies (Dewsbury), Curtis Davies (Newcastle), Jude Ferreira (Hull FC), Dan Fleming (Halifax), Matty Fozard (Widnes), Charlie Glover (Salford), Kyle Huish (Rochdale), Elliot Kear (Batley), Josh Lynch (Warrington), Owen Restall (Dewsbury), Matt Ross (London Skolars), Ben Sheils (Sheffield), Luke Thomas (Warrington), Anthony Walker (Widnes), Billy Walkley (Salford), Calvin Wellington (Rochdale), Huw Worthington (unattached).