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MEET THE TEAM Regan Grace

28th April 2017, 06:22

MEET THE TEAM Regan Grace

Outstanding performances in his first few Super League games has put winger REGAN GRACE in the limelight, but the Port Talbot born Welshman is already capped and has a long history in the 13-man game.

Outstanding performances in his first few Super League games has put winger REGAN GRACE in the limelight, but the Port Talbot born Welshman is already capped and has a long history in the 13-man game.

 

Making his mark with St Helens, Regan is staking his claim to be on the plane to Papua New Guinea and Australia for the forthcoming Rugby League World Cup.

 

Here we take a closer look at the life and career of Regan Grace.

 

VIDEO - Regan was brought into the national headlines after scoring on his Super League debut.

 

However his first two senior tries came for his country - Wales, both against Serbia in the World Cup qualifiers in 2016. This is the second try...

 

Regan started playing rugby in the 15-man code with his local club Aberavon Greenstars, and would continue to guest for them whilst playing Rugby League, right up until he signed for St Helens.

 

PIC - Regan (front row left) in his early days with Aberavon Greenstars.

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Regan started his Rugby League with Neath Port Talbot Steelers under 14s and his try scoring helped them to a Grand Final win in 2014. Other players in that final, from both sides, have also since turned professional.

 

PIC - Regan runs in for a try for NPT Steelers U14 over Bridgend Blue Bulls in 2011.

 

He was quickly picked up the South Wales RL Academy and starred in their under 15s and under 16s, regularly playing, scoring against and beating Super League sides. His record of five tries in four games for the 15s and eight tries in seven games for the 16s is the best try per game ratio in the academy's history.

 

PIC - Regan playing for South Wales Scorpions under 15 against Midlands Hurricanes Academy. 

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Following his season in the under 15s, Regan returned to rugby union for a season with the Ospreys Academy, playing four games, he scored a try against all the other Welsh regions.

 

PIC - Regan and team-mate following an Ospreys Academy game.

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He then returned to South Wales RL Academy leading their under 16 side to wins over Salford, Widnes and London Broncos and scoring against Wigan Warriors.

 

PIC - Regan putting a stop to a Wigan player's charge when playing for South Wales U16.

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Regan was naturally chosen for the South Wales AASE Academy side that ran in Maesteg from 2013-14 in a partnership with Wigan Warriors.

 

Pic - Regan alongside future Wales team-mate Rhodri Lloyd, then Scorpions coach Dave Clark and others in the AASE Academy Opening ceremony.

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Pic - Regan playing for the AASE Academy side against Bristol Academy.

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International honours were always going to follow and Regan turned out for Wales at both under 16 and under 18 level.

 

Pic - Regan in action for Wales under 16s against England.

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Regan has always been supported by his family at matches. His older sister Lateysha, who has appeared on reality shows "The Valleys" and "Big Brother" witnessed his Super League debut recently and always proudly tweets her support.

 

Pic - Regan with sister Lateysha after Wales v England under 16s in 2013.

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People were beginning to spot Regan's success and he, along with his cousin Calvin Wellington were soon in Super League. Not with Wigan, but with their rivals St Helens who monitored them during the RL off-season when they were playing union with Aberavon Harlequins. They trialled with Saints while contracted with Wales Rugby League in the AASE programme, signing for Saints when their contracts ended. They tasted success with St Helens under 19s last year as they beat Wigan 22-20 in the Grand Final.

 

Pic - The successful St Helens under 19 side after beating Wigan in the Under 19 Final.

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Pic - Regan, Calvin and family following a recent St Helens academy game.

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Regan made his Super League debut on Good Friday 2017 and again put a thorn in Wigan's side by scoring against them again.

 

PIC - Regan scoring against Wigan on his first team debut for St Helens.

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And he made a try scoring home debut too on Easter Monday as St Helens beat league leaders Castleford Tigers.

 

PIC - Regan pictured with his niece (Lateysha's daughter) following St Helens v Castleford.

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Now it's up to Regan to continue his good form in Super League as the reward will be a seat on that plane down under in October.

 

PIC - Regan lines up in the Danny Jones benefit match at Keighley Cougars.

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PIC - Celebrating with Wales team-mates after beating France on his international debut.

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PIC - Regan on the run to score his second international try.

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KEY STATS: 

Name: Regan Grace

Position: Wing

Current club: St Helens

Former School: St Joseph's, Port Talbot

Eligibility: Born in Port Talbot, Wales

Date of Birth: 12/12/1996

Wales Heritage #504. Caps: 3, Tries 2. Debut: 30/10/2015. Most recent cap: 15/10/2016.

CLICK HERE TO SEE REGAN'S FULL RECORD FOR WALES

 

Wales' next game will be away against Papua New Guinea in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup starting in October. Wales enter the tournament six games unbeaten and as current European Champions however have some mouthwatering opposition in their three opening group games. Click here for a full World Cup fixture list and to buy tickets.

 

Opening 2017 Rugby League World Cup Games: 

28th October        Papua New Guinea v Wales     Port Moresby, PNG 

5th November       Fiji v Wales                            Townsville, Australia

12th November    Wales v Ireland                       Perth, Australia

 

For details on how to sponsor Wales in their World Cup campaign, please email chris.thair@walesrugbyleague.co.uk.

 

Photos from Ian LovellSW Pix and via the Grace family.