Leeds Rhinos Grand Final hero Stevie Ward will miss the 2017 Rugby League World Cup in order to rest his injured shoulder.
Ward was not included in England’s 24-man squad released on Monday, with rumours suggesting he would be called up to represent Wales, the birthplace of his mother.
However, it has now emerged that the 23-year-old will not play for either nation due to the dislocated shoulder he suffered during the Rhinos play-off victory against Hull FC.
Ward defied the injury to play in Saturday’s Grand Final triumph but he will now rest over the next few months to avoid causing further damage.
Wales head coach, John Kear, told PA Sport: “We had an agreement that, if he wasn’t selected by England, then he’d make himself available for Wales but his injury is such that there would be a risk of further damage so he won’t be playing for us.”
Kear will announce his 24-man Wales squad for the World Cup on Tuesday morning.