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History: Eight years since Wales hosted Italy at the Racecourse

6th October 2018, 13:03

History: Eight years since Wales hosted Italy at the Racecourse

Thirteen players made their debuts when Wales faced Italy at the Racecourse Stadium on October 6 in 2010.

Wales will take on Ireland in Wrexham this autumn, hosting their first match at the stadium since 2015, when they beat Scotland 18-12 on the way to lifting the European Championship.

Back in 2010, the Dragons were narrowly-beaten 13-6 by Italy and it was the day Gareth Thomas, who had switched from rugby union to league that year, made his first appearance for his country in the 13-man code.

Danny Jones, who sadly passed away in May 2015 after suffering a cardiac arrest playing for Keighely Cougars at London Skolars, also made his Wales debut against the Italians. 

Rhodri Lloyd in action against Ireland at last year's World Cup

Rhodri Lloyd became the youngest ever Wales debutant at the age of just 17 years and three months and has since gone on to earn 15 caps, taking part in both the 2013 and 2017 World Cups. 

West Wales Raiders' Steve Parry, a regular presence in Wales' side over the last couple of years, also had his first run-out as a 21-year-old. Parry had scored 19 tries in 19 appearances for South Wales Scorpions during the 2010 campaign and played under Anthony Seibold, who led South Sydney Rabbitohs to the NRL title this season and picked up the Dally M coach of the year award. 

The likes of Andrew Gay, Lewis Reece and Joe Burke featured in Wales' senior team for the first time against Italy and have all gone on to represent their country fairly regularly since. 

The full list of debutants (the number of caps they've won is in brackets) against Italy on October 6, 2010 is as follows: Andrew Gay (8), Lewis Reece (7), Gareth Thomas (4), Danny Jones (12), Steve Parry (12), Jordan Ross (4), Rhodri Lloyd (15), Harri Greville (1), Joe Burke (13), Chris Davies (1), Mark Wool (1), Dafydd Carter (1), Jack Pring (2).

Wrexham's Racecourse Stadium has a long association with rugby league. As well as being the home of semi-professional club North Wales Crusaders for a number of years, it has hosted plenty of Wales fixtures in the past. Read about some of the most memorable ones.

Tickets for Wales' clash with Ireland on Sunday, November 11 at 3pm are now on sale. By booking in advance, you can save money on matchday prices.

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