21st September 2017, 12:53
MEET THE TEAM: Dan Fleming
As we countdown to Rugby League World Cup 2017, the latest player to feature in our MEET THE TEAM series is Toronto Wolfpack's Dan Fleming.
Born in Halifax, Fleming began playing rugby league with local amateur club Kings Cross at the age of seven.
He first made inroads into the professional game with Halifax, where he trained with the Championship club's first-team.
Dan warms up ahead of Toronto's first ever match, a friendly against Hull FC
However, his professional debut came while he was on loan at Rochdale Hornets, as he made the one appearance at Spotland in 2011.
Fleming was then given his first Wales call-up by Iestyn Harris in 2012.
After playing in a mid-season international against France at the Racecourse Stadium, he featured in another international with France in the autumn and also lined up against England.
After returning to the amateur game with Kings Cross, he contacted Castleford Tigers and ended up earning a contract with the club.
His Super League debut for Castleford came in March 2013, when he was named on the bench against London Broncos.
In all, the 25-year-old went on to make 11 appearances for the Tigers in Super League that year, scoring a single try in the process.
He also turned out for Batley Bulldogs on 11 occasions during a loan spell, working under current Wales head coach John Kear.
Dan in the thick of the action against Hull FC
In the autumn of 2013, he was named in Wales' squad for Rugby League World Cup 2013, but he didn't feature during the tournament.
The following season, Fleming made five appearances for Castleford in all competitions and spent one match on dual-registration with League 1 club York City Knights.
After the conclusion of the 2014 club season, he worked with John Kear at Wales for a second time as he featured in all of the European Championship fixtures, scoring a try against France.
When he returned from international duty, it was time for him to move elsewhere and he signed a two-year deal with Bradford Bulls, who had just been relegated from Super League.
He featured heavily for the Bulls in 2015, making 16 appearances across the season as the Odsal outfit narrowly missed out on promotion back to Super League with defeat in the Million Pound Game.
He also played once in League 1 for Oxford, who were Bradford's daul-registration partner at the time.
Following five appearances for the Bulls in the early stages of 2016, he joined Swinton on loan later on in the season and went on to make 10 appearances for the Lions.
Dan takes on France
Fleming was on the move for the 2017 season, signing a deal with Toronto Wolfpack as the transatlantic club prepared for its debut season.
At the Wolfpack, he has recently tasted promotion to the Championship after the club blitzed the majority of the League 1 clubs that they came up against.
Fleming was a regular in the team and played his part in Toronto's dominance of the division.
"It's going to be massive over there," he said on the Wolfpack.
"They're averaging around seven thousand fans. When the Blue Jays are playing and there are concerts and so on, they're still getting big crowds.
"They love their sport out there and they're kind of getting to grips with rugby league now.
"We're the first professional rugby league club out there and it really is massive.
"We had to do what the RFL said by joining League 1 and we played every game to the best of our ability.
Dan with his wife
"Other than the games against York and Keighley, we did well and won promotion."
Now that his club duties are over for the season, the prop forward would like nothing more than to feature for Wales at Rugby League World Cup 2017.
"When people talk about the last World Cup, I was in the squad, but I didn't play as was 18th or 19th man," Fleming said.
"I want to play and it's a big goal of mine to play in this World Cup.
"I never got the chance to play for Wales last year or the year before because of injury, so it'd be great to be involved.
"Hopefully, I have done enough to be selected as it will be a great experience and a once in a lifetime opportunity."
Name: Dan Fleming
Current club: Toronto Wolfpack
Community club: Kings Cross
Eligibility: Born in Halifax. Eligible through his grandmother
Date of birth: 08/07/92
Wales heritage: #481; Wales caps: 6; Wales tries; first Wales appearance: 16/06/12; last Wales appearance: 02/11/14
SEE DAN'S FULL WALES RECORD HERE
YOU CAN FOLLOW DAN ON TWITTER: @DanFlem123
YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW DAN ON INSTAGRAM: @danflem123
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
Get behind the boys at the World Cup by purchasing the new replica kit! Visit the online shop HERE.
Article by Ryan Gould
Images from Dan Fleming and Ian Lovell