19th February 2018, 12:11
Around the Leagues: how did Welsh internationals get on last weekend?
In the latest instalment of "Around the Leagues", we take a look at how Wales internationals got on in the opening round of League 1 and the latest rounds of Super League and the Championship.
Although no players appeared in a shorter Super League fixture list, Ben Flower started at prop in Wigan Warriors’ exhibition match against South Sydney Rabbitohs, with Shaun Wane’s men losing 18-8.
As Wigan and Hull FC had gone head-to-head the previous weekend in the first Super League match to be played outside of Europe, the two clubs extended their New South Wales tour and the Black and Whites faced St George Illawarra in the other exhibition match.
In the Championship, three Welsh internationals played for Swinton Lions in the 48-28 defeat to Batley Bulldogs at the AJ Bell Stadium. Gavin Bennion, who is on loan from Salford Red Devils, Rhodri Lloyd and Andy Bracek all started for the Lions.
Down in the south of France, meanwhile, Matty Fozard was at hooker for Sheffield Eagles and was his club’s stand-out player in League Express’ report, despite being on the end of a 50-6 loss.
Wales head coach John Kear watches on during his first game in charge of Bradford Bulls
Wales’ record try-scorer Rhys Williams started on the left wing for London Broncos as the expansion club kept their place at the top of the table with an impressive 44-24 victory over Featherstone Rovers.
Elsewhere, Chester Butler scored a try for Halifax in the 20-6 defeat to Toronto Wolfpack, while Jake Emmitt was on the interchange bench for the opposition in the same match.
Larne Patrick came off the bench and scored a try for Leigh Centurions in a surprise 24-20 defeat at Barrow Raiders.
In the opening round of League 1, Paul Emmanuelli and James Geurtjens started for Coventry Bears in a heavy 70-10 defeat at Doncaster.
Lewis Reece appeared for Whitehaven as they hosted Oldham, while Ricky Hough started at loose forward for Hemel Stags against Hunslet.
For Wales boss John Kear’s first competitive match in charge of Bradford Bulls, he selected Welsh international Dalton Grant on the wing as a penalty on the full-time hooter secured a narrow 22-20 victory over York City Knights.
A number of Welsh internationals, plus prospects for the future, were set to play for West Wales Raiders, but the club’s first League 1 fixture as a semi-professional outfit against Newcastle Thunder was postponed.
There is one final fixture as Rochdale Hornets face Dewsbury Rams tonight. Rob Massam has been included in the Hornets’ 19-man squad.
This weekend, meanwhile, attention turns to the third round of the Challenge Cup for League 1 clubs. North Wales Crusaders will host Keighley Cougars, while West Wales Raiders will travel to former Super League champions Bradford Bulls.
Some tense finishes this afternoon as the new Betfred League 1 season kicked-off! pic.twitter.com/LpU79Fz9Bj— Championship & League 1 (@RLChampionships) February 18, 2018