31st August 2017, 14:00
MEET THE TEAM: Steven Parry
The latest player to feature in our MEET THE TEAM series ahead of Rugby League World Cup 2017 is Gloucestershire All Golds hooker Steven Parry.
Although Parry's first experience of playing rugby was in union, he switched to league after a year and joined Cardiff Demons.
While playing for the Demons as a junior, he was selected to represent Wales at both U16s and U18s level.
After a couple of further years in the sport, Parry decided to trial for South Wales Ironmen, who were then known as Scorpions and were set up following Crusaders' move north to Wrexham.
Steven scores a try against Hemel
It went according to plan as he was given a contract by South Wales for the club's debut season in 2010.
If the trial was a success, then his first campaign at semi-professional level was even more so.
19 tries in 19 appearances was an impressive ratio to say the least and it was recognised with his nomination for the division's young player of the year.
His performances were also noted by then Wales head coach Iestyn Harris, who started Parry at hooker in a full international against Italy.
In 2011, the 28-year-old's fine form continued as he crossed 13 times in 21 appearances for South Wales, who finished eighth in League 1 that year.
The following season, Parry was again ever present for the Ironmen, making 23 appearances and grabbing 11 tries.
At the end of 2012, he was given the nod by Iestyn Harris for the second time and appeared in the internationals with France and England.
Steven offloads for the All Golds
Once international duty was over, he resumed matters with South Wales, but he was on the move midway through the season as he joined Gloucestershire All Golds.
It was the All Golds' debut season in League 1 as they, along with Coventry Bears and Hemel Stags, were brought into the semi-professional game by the RFL.
He has been at the Prince of Wales Stadium since and, despite his association with South Wales, when you think of the All Golds, Steve Parry is a name that will likely spring to mind.
In the later stages of 2013 and large parts of 2014, though, the hooker struggled with a knee injury, which kept him out of the Wales picture.
Parry returned to full fitness in 2015, however, and the stats show that he soon returned to his old self.
He sweeped up all the main awards at the club's presentation evening and, with 14 tries in 25 matches, it was no real surprise.
That led to his third Wales call-up in 2015 - this time, under John Kear - and he was instrumental in the European Championship success, scoring two tries in the process.
Steven with his gran after the win over Serbia
In 2016, he only continued to impress with 20 tries in 25 matches. For a hooker, it was another high tally.
And, in the autumn, he helped Wales on their way to the World Cup, appearing in both of the qualifiers and the full international with Jamaica.
Now that he has been named in the 38-man train-on squad for the tournament, what would it mean to him to be on the plane to Australia later this year?
"Everybody wants to represent their country and it would be a dream come true to play in a World Cup, especially over in Australia," Parry said.
"It's unbelievable what we've done over the last couple of years; it's like night and day.
"With the team that John [Kear] has got going now, there is a great team ethic and you can see that everybody is there to do a job."
On the 2017 season with the All Golds to date, Parry said: "I'm very happy.
"I think I've had a pretty good year and I've kept my performances up.
"I need to look after myself, keep performing and make sure I'm as good as I can be. That's all I can do really."
With 20 tries already reached in 2017, Parry is certainly in solid form at present and will want to keep that up in order to impress John Kear and his coaching staff.
Name: Steven Parry
Current club: Gloucestershire All Golds
Junior club: Cardiff Demons
Eligibility: Born in Merthyr Tydfil
Steven with his daughter Arya
Date of birth: 19/10/88
Wales heritage: #465; Wales caps: 9; Wales tries: 2; first Wales appearance: 06/10/10; last Wales appearance: 29/10/16
SEE STEVE'S FULL WALES RECORD HERE
YOU CAN FOLLOW STEVE ON TWITTER: @stevenlparry9
Wales' group matches at Rugby League World Cup 2017 are as follows:
PAPUA NEW GUINEA V WALES
Sir John Guise Stadium, Port Moresby
FIJI V WALES
WALES V IRELAND
Perth Rectangular Stadium
Tickets for Wales' clash with Papua New Guinea are NOW ON SALE and can be bought HERE.
Get behind the lads at the World Cup by purchasing the new replica kit! Visit the online shop HERE.
Article by Ryan Gould
Images from Steve Parry, Ian Lovell and Lewis Mitchell