9th October 2019, 12:00
16-man squad for 9s World Cup revealed
Wales men’s team head coach John Kear has selected his final 16-man squad for the 9s World Cup, which takes place at Parramatta Eels’ Bankwest Stadium in Sydney on October 18 and 19.
Regan Grace, who is set to feature for St Helens in Saturday’s Super League Grand Final with Salford Red Devils, will travel to Australia.
St Helens star Regan Grace headlines the 16-man squad
Elliot Kear will captain Wales for the second successive year and is joined by leading try-scorer of all-time Rhys Williams.
Rhys Evans and twin brother Ben are both named in the 16, while the experienced Lloyd White could feature for the first time since 2016.
Rhodri Lloyd, a regular in the Wales side now and still the youngest ever player to be capped, is joined on the plane by Swinton Lions teammates Mike Butt and Gavin Bennion.
Dalton Grant, twins Connor and Curtis Davies, Dan Fleming and James Olds also make John Kear’s squad, with Cobi Green and Will Evans the only uncapped players named.
Ben Flower and Chester Butler both miss the tournament through injury, while Gil Dudson is unavailable.
Wales head coach John Kear said: “We’re all eager to take part in the 9s World Cup.
“11 out of the 16 players featured in last autumn’s European Championship and World Cup qualifiers so it’ll be good for this squad of players to spend some more time together.
“We have a good mix of youth and experience in the squad, with a few players returning for the first time in a couple of years.
“We’ll be going to Australia and giving it our best shot against some strong sides.
“We want to build on the good work we did last year with a big couple of years coming up.”
Wales’ 16-man squad in full: Rhys Evans, Dalton Grant, Cobi Green (Bradford Bulls), Will Evans (Burleigh Bears), Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Dan Fleming (all Halifax), Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (both London Broncos), Lloyd White (Mackay Cutters), Regan Grace (St Helens), Gavin Bennion, Mike Butt, Rhodri Lloyd (all Swinton Lions), Ben Evans (Toulouse Olympique), James Olds (West Brisbane Panthers).
Wales will face England on Friday, October 18, before taking on France and Lebanon on Saturday, October 19.
Images by Richard Long