Big Good Friday action in South and North Wales
12th April 2017, 15:23
Good Friday always means a great day of Rugby League action and 2017 is no different with big games in both South and North Wales plus a host of Welsh internationals taking to the field across the world.
It could be possible to see both games involving Wales’ professional clubs if you’re in the South, as North Wales Crusaders’ clash with Toronto Wolfpack (kick-off 5pm) is being televised live by Premier Sports.
South Wales Ironmen are up first. They host Gloucestershire All Golds in the big derby match at The Wern in Merthyr Tydfil (kick-off 3pm)
The home side are expecting their biggest crowd of the season so far especially with All Golds’ captain Steve Parry living just a few miles away in his native Treharris. His presence in the side normally sees a Valley Cougars club outing to watch, as he, along with another former South Wales player in Harrison Elliot, are expected to be in the All Golds line-up.
South Wales haven’t beaten the All Golds in four years and a number of All Golds’ former players will hope to put that right when they star for the home side on Friday.
Ironmen head coach Phil Carleton said: “We always get a decent crowd in for the All Golds derby. Courtney Davies, Lewis Reece, Morgan Evans, Chris Vitalini , Izaak Duffy, Yannick Parker and Richard Jones have all played for the All Golds at one time or another and some have a point to prove. The All Golds have a couple of former South Wales players in their side as well so it should be a cracker. ”
Evans will miss the game through injury, but other Welsh international players set to star for the Ironmen are Paul Emanuelli, Christiaan Roets, Andrew Gay, Connor Farrer and Ashley Bateman.
In the north, the Crusaders could come up against three Welsh international players when they face Toronto Wolfpack at Queensway Stadium in Wrexham.
Jake Emmitt and Dan Fleming have been starring for the Wolfpack this season, whilst Sean Penkywicz, who signed for the Canadians earlier this month, could also feature.
Toronto have still not lost a game in league or cup this season and come into this game on the back of an 82-6 win at Doncaster. The Crusaders play their second home game in a week after beating Newcastle Thunder 30-14 last Sunday.
Crusaders’ coach Mike Grady says that he’ll be selecting from a depleted squad due to injuries: “We’ve had some bad luck when it comes to injuries and last week we only had 15 fully fit players available for selection.
“Hopefully we’ll have a few back but we’ve also got a few more missing, it’s something which we have to deal with and in some ways I think that being up against it has only brought us closer together.
“All the lads who are available are looking forward to playing against Toronto and the challenges which that will present.”
Also in League 1 on Friday, Danny Ansell could star for Hunslet against Keighley Cougars and Matty Barron may line up for Newcastle Thunder against Barrow Raiders
They are just two more of the many Welsh international players set to star for their clubs this Good Friday, all hoping to put in a good performance to try and secure a World Cup place in six months’ time.
Tomorrow night’s (Thursday’s) Super League match could see Gil Dudson of Widnes Vikings and Rhys Evans of Warrington Wolves face each other.
Another televised Super League encounter on Good Friday sees Ben Flower named for Wigan Warriors as they face arch rivals St Helens, with Regan Grace and Morgan Knowles named in their squad.
Finally for Super League, Craig Kopczak and Sam Hopkins could line up against each other when Salford Red Devils host Leigh Centurions.
Named in Championship squads on Friday are Rob Massam (Rochdale Hornets), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams and Ben Evans (all London Broncos), Joe Burke (Oldham Roughyeds) and Rhodri Lloyd and Andy Bracek (both Swinton Lions).
Also Tyson Frizell will line up for St George Illawarra Dragons against North Queensland Cowboys in Australia’s NRL on Saturday.