18th July 2019, 14:30
Wales skipper Elliot Kear excited about future
Wales captain Elliot Kear believes the elite train-on squad will provide a long-term vision, allowing the team to build momentum ahead of the 2021 World Cup.
A 35-man elite train-on squad was announced earlier today and will be used by head coach John Kear for selection over the next two years.
Wales travel to Australia this autumn for the 9s World Cup, before returning to full, 13-a-side internationals in 2020 for the European Championship.
After a successful international campaign last autumn, qualifying for the 2021 World Cup, Kear is excited to see how the team develops over the next two years.
“It’s good to announce a big elite train-on squad as it gives us a selection of high-quality players to choose from,” he said.
“Being together as a group over the next two years will give us a chance to gel.
“We’ve got some lads who have been in and around the squad for a while and there are some lads who are new.
“There are players at both the start and end of their careers and there’s a really good mix of youth and experience.
“We had a slow start last year, but that was only natural because we were still relatively new as a group.
“We went from strength to strength and looked really strong in the matches against Scotland and Ireland.
“It’s going to be another exciting couple of years.”
The 9s format will be new to the vast majority of players in Wales’ train-on squad – but they are all relishing the opportunity.
“It’s going be a great experience and there aren’t many places better to go than Australia to be involved in a tournament like this,” Kear said.
“We’ll be going there to compete and we’re hoping to do well in the tournament.
“It’s a reward for the hard work the lads put in last year and qualifying for the World Cup.”