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Salford and Leigh stars headline John Kear’s 24-man Wales squad for the World Cup

John Kear has announced his 24-man Wales squad for the upcoming World Cup

Elliot Kear will captain the squad and experienced winger Rhys Williams will be hoping to add more tries to his international tally which currently stands at 22.

Caleb Aekins, who celebrated promotion with Leigh on Sunday, gets his first international call-up and will be one of the key men for Wales in this tournament after a successful season with the Centurions.

There was talk of NRL centre Bradman Best representing Wales, but injury has meant he was unavailable for selection whilst the previously capped Tyson Frizell is also not part of the squad.

Regan Grace would have been set to make the squad before his season-ending injury which leaves Kear with a big loss on the wing as he was a crucial player for this Wales side.

Another key loss is that of powerful prop forward Gil Dudson who was suspended for three games following a headbutt in his final game for the Catalans Dragons as they lost to the Leeds Rhinos in the playoffs.

Wales get their campaign underway against Cook islands at Leigh Sports Village on October 19, with games against Tonga on October 24 and Papau New Guinea on October 31.

The squad in full is:

Caleb Aekins (Leigh Centurions)
Bailey Antrobus (York City Knights)
Gavin Bennion (Rochdale Hornets)
Joe Burke (West Wales Raiders)
Chester Butler (Bradford Bulls)
Mike Butt (Swinton Lions)
Connor Davies (Workington Town)
Curtis Davies (Whitehaven)
Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls)
Kyle Evans (Wakefield Trinity)
Rhys Evans (Bradford Bulls)
Will Evans (Whitehaven)
Dan Fleming (Featherstone Rovers)
Matty Fozard (Widnes Vikings)
Dalton Grant (London Broncos)
Tom Hopkins (Barrow Raiders)
Elliot Kear (C) (Bradford Bulls)
Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions)
James Olds (Valley Diehards)
Ollie Olds (Valley Diehards)
Josh Ralph (Mounties)
Luis Roberts (Leigh Centurions)
Anthony Walker (Bradford Bulls)
Rhys Williams (Salford Red Devils)

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