Wales name their World Cup squad

Wales head coach John Kear has named his 24-man squad for the World Cup and he has rewarded the players that helped the Dragons qualify.

Josh Ralph, Chester Butler and Gavin Bennion are the only uncapped players, while Ben Evans and Matty Seamark return to the frame for the first time since the 2013 tournament.

Saints’ duo Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles are included but Kear’s squad is significantly weakened by a big injury list.

Ben Flower, Jake Emmitt, Lloyd White, Rhys Evans, Gil Dudson and Larne Patrick are just a few of the names unavailable, with Stevie Ward, who was rumoured to be involved, also injured.

Craig Kopczak will captain Wales during the World Cup, while Phil Joseph and Elliot Kear will assist him in vice captain roles.

Wales head coach John Kear said: “I’m really happy with the squad that I’ve got for the tournament.

“We’ve had withdrawals – some because of injury and some for personal reasons – but the lads who are going are showing a great deal of desire to represent their country.

“I’m pretty certain that they will perform at this World Cup on the biggest stage. It’s a great opportunity.

“We’ve not won a World Cup match since 2000. We didn’t qualify for the 2008 World Cup and we didn’t win in 2013.

“It’s a long time between World Cup wins, but we’re unbeaten in six matches and the main goal is to get that first win. There’s then nothing to say that we can’t get out of the group and make the quarter-finals.”

Full squad: Courtney Davies, Steve Parry (both Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Matty Barron (Newcastle Thunder), Joe Burke (Oldham), Gavin Bennion (Rochdale Hornets), Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (both South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Josh Ralph (Tweed Head Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matty Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls).

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