Wales propose games against England for the ‘NHS Cup’

Wales have proposed to play England in a double-header that would celebrate and honour key workers in the two countries.

They have suggested the two nations’ men’s and women’s sides play for the ‘NHS Cup’, should the Ashes series and European Championships be postponed as a result of the Covid-19 suspension.

There is much speculation that the planned international competitions in Autumn won’t go ahead, with the RFL and Super League likely to prioritise the completion of domestic club competitions.

Gareth Kear believes England could play Wales if the Ashes series and European Championships are postponed. Credit: Richard Long/News Images

Wales Rugby League CEO Gareth Kear believes at least one international fixture can still be played, however, and could give the sport a chance to recognise the hard work done by NHS workers throughout what has already been a difficult year.

“Hope is an important factor in life,” he told the WRL official website. “We will have Rugby League this year, if it’s safe to do so. All of players in Wales are ready to go, whilst our men’s and women’s head coaches John Kear and Craig Taylor both fully support this and I’ve already made some initial discussions with the RFL.

“Let’s play for an NHS Cup and invite key workers in for free. This way, we can recognise the sadness of friends and loved ones lost, respect the sacrifice of so many, and then celebrate a new beginning.

The proposed double-header would include a game between England and Wales women. Credit: News Images

“It would be a great occasion anywhere in England or Wales. Our women’s side beat England’s second-string last autumn and they’re all in lockdown training now, and training hard. I know they’d like a stab at the full England side.

“Also, wouldn’t it also be good if the Wales and England Wheelchair sides could meet on the same weekend too and make the cup a ‘best of three’? At Wheelchair level, we got close to beating England last year and would love to take them on again.”

Kear also confirmed that, if it safe to do so, Wales men and women will face off against Jamaica in a double header in Cardiff for the Billy Boston Cup in October.

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