Wales head coach, John Kear, has named fifteen uncapped players in an initial squad of 30 players ahead of the test match against France in Albi on Sunday 19th June (3.30pm local time/2.30pm UK time).
They include Leigh Centurions duo, Caleb Aekins and Luis Roberts, plus recent York City Knights recruit, Bailey Antrobus. Will Evans (Whitehaven) and Cobi Green (Rochdale Hornets) were both part of the Wales Nines squad in 2019 but are not yet full internationals.
Familiar faces in the squad include Rhys Williams, who will become Wales’ most capped men’s international if he plays against the French. Williams currently shares that accolade with Jordan James and Ian Watson, all with 30 caps to their name.
There are two sets of twins in the squad – Bradford duo, Ben Evans and Rhys Evans; plus Connor and Curtis Davies, who both play for Workington Town. Wales have never fielded two sets of twins in an international fixture, although that could happen this Sunday when the women’s team face England. Rosie and Katie Carr, plus Ffion and Sara Jones are in the 19-player squad for the weekend’s test match at Pandy Park, home of Cross Keys RFC (1pm kick-off).
Regan Grace is not included in the squad having only recently returned to the St. Helens side following injury, while Gil Dudson is unavailable.
Kear will reduce his squad to 21 players next week for the trip to France. The match will be Wales’ first 13-a-side men’s international since beating Ireland in November 2018 to qualify for the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.
The 30-man squad in full: Caleb Aekins* (Leigh Centurions), Bailey Antrobus* (York City Knights), Gavin Bennion (Rochdale Hornets), Joe Burke (West Wales Raiders), Chester Butler (Huddersfield Giants), Michael Butt (Swinton Lions), Curtis Davies (Workington Town), Connor Davies (Workington Town), Rhys Evans (Bradford Bulls), Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls), William Evans* (Whitehaven), Jude Ferreira* (London Broncos), Dan Fleming (Bradford Bulls), Matty Fozard (Widnes Vikings), Dalton Grant (London Broncos), Cobi Green* (Rochdale Hornets), Tom Hopkins* (Barrow Raiders), Kyle Huish* (Wigan Warriors), Lewis Hulme* (Widnes Vikings), Paddy Jones* (Swinton Lions), Elliot Kear (c) (Bradford Bulls), Kieran Lewis (Saint Gaudens XIII), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Lewis Pinder* (Wigan Warriors), Owen Restall* (Oldham Roughyeds), Luis Roberts* (Leigh Centurions), Anthony Walker (Bradford Bulls), David Weetman* (Workington Town), Calvin Wellington* (Oldham Roughyeds), Rhys Williams (Salford Red Devils). *Uncapped