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MEET THE TEAM: Andrew Gay

14th August 2017, 15:45

MEET THE TEAM: Andrew Gay

In the latest instalment of MEET THE TEAM ahead of Rugby League World Cup 2017, we take a look at South Wales Ironmen's Andrew Gay.

Gay, who qualifies to play for Wales through his Cardiff-born father, has played rugby league consecutively for the past 22 years in his homeland of Australia and Wales. 

In his earlier playing days over in Australia, he represented Central Coast, where he was brought up, at U18s level. 

Following a spell with Toukley Hawks, for whom he was named player of the season in 2008, the 27-year-old decided to move to Wales to pursue his career. 

Ahead of 2010, he joined South Wales Ironmen - then Scorpions - to play a part in their debut season as a club. 

Andrew in action for South Wales Ironmen - then Scorpions - back in 2010

Alternating between fullback and the halves, Gay was a constant in the side, making 21 appearances in all and grabbing nine tries in the process.

After his maiden club season in Wales, he was rewarded for his performances with a call-up to Wales' international side. 

He made his debut in a full international with Italy at Wrexham's Racecourse Stadium, before featuring in the 31-30 victory over Ireland in the European Championship. 

Gay remainded with South Wales for 2011 and continued his solid form, as he recorded an impressive 17 tries in 21 appearances in his second season in Wales.

His club form again led to recognition at international level; he played at fullback in Wales' 30-6 over Ireland and grabbed his first try in a red jersey. 

However, following his involvement with Wales, Gay returned to Australia and signed a deal with Intrust Super (Queensland) Cup side Mackay Cutters for 2012. 

At the Cutters, who are affiliated with NRL club North Queensland Cowyboys, he played alongside Neil Budworth and Lee Williams, two former Celtic Crusaders players.

After finishing second to Northern Pride in the regular season in 2013, Gay and his teammates secured a Grand Final victory over Easts Tigers to secure the title. 

 

Andrew in action for South Wales Ironmen this season

In 2015, he had to undergo urgent surgery after fracturing his skull playing in a match. He now has titanium plating above his eye and no feeling in the top of his head. 

He spent five seasons in all with Mackay and was then back on the move at the end of 2016, as he travelled to Wales for a second stint and signed a deal with South Wales Ironmen for the current season.

Following four years off international duty, Gay was also given his first call-up by Wales head coach John Kear last autumn. 

He featured in all three of Wales' matches: World Cup qualifiers against Serbia and Italy and a full international against Jamaica. 

Gay crossed for tries in both of the qualifying matches, taking his tally to three tries in six appearances for the Dragons. 

This season, he has featured heavily for South Wales in League 1 and will be hoping to impress John Kear in the closing stages of the campaign. 

 

 

Andrew with girlfriend Emma

KEY STATS 

Name: Andrew Gay

Position: Utility back

Current club: South Wales Ironmen

Community club: Toukley Hawks

Eligibility: Born in Sydney, Australia. Eligible through his father, who was born in Splott, Cardiff

Date of birth: 05/10/89

Wales heritage: #461; Wales caps: 6; Wales tries: 3; Wales debut: 06/10/10; last Wales appearance: 29/10/16

SEE ANDREW'S FULL WALES RECORD HERE

 

YOU CAN FOLLOW ANDREW ON INSTAGRAM: @andrew_gay

 

Wales' group matches at Rugby League World Cup 2017 are as follows:

DATE

FIXTURE

VENUE

October 28

PAPUA NEW GUINEA V WALES

Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby

November 5

FIJI V WALES

Townsville Stadium 

November 12

WALES V IRELAND

Perth Rectangular Stadium

 

Get behind the boys at the World Cup by purchasing the new replica kit! Visit Wales' online shop HERE

 

Article by Ryan Gould and Ian Golden

Images from Andrew Gay and ianlovell.com