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Wales Dragonhearts

Wales Dragonhearts Wales Dragonhearts
Dragonhearts

Wales Dragonhearts are the representative side of the Welsh Conference. All players who play in the Conference leagues in both north and south Wales are eligable for selection.

The Dragonhearts used to enter the Conference Four Nations tournament and were the most successful side in the history of this competition. They played annually against their England, Scotland and Ireland counterparts from 2002-2013.

Now the Dragonhearts play representative matches against England, the Celtic Nations and will be touring in the near future.

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The side began life as the Wales A in 1991 when they played their first game beating the touring Russian club side, Moscow Spartak at Swansea's St Helens ground in 1991 played before the first team beat Papua New Guinea 68-0.

Their first ever international was in May 1994 when they were so close to beating England, but went down 14-10 at the Morfa Stadium in Swansea. This game may not have sent shockwaves around the country and did not receive the publicity that recent "A" internationals have done, but did produce a new star. Jason Lee was promptly signed by Warrington and ended up playing seven times for the full Welsh national side, scoring four tries in the process.

Lee was just the first of many players from the Wales "A" or "Dragonhearts" side to turn professional. From 2002-2010, Wales fielded 130 players with 27 of them eventually playing professional rugby league. Future professionals Aled James, Gareth Honor, Richard Singleton and Pete Moore lined up in the first side that beat Scotland 40-22 in Glasgow alongside former Gateshead Thunder player Stuart Singleton.

Dean Scully, Darren Ryan, Richard Johnston, Neil Davies, Damien Hudd, Paul Morgan, Neil Dixon, Lloyd O'Connor, Karl Hocking, Marcus Sainsbury, Grant Epton, Carle Ellis, David James, Christiaan Roets, Tom Burnell, Lee Williams, Elliot Kear, Ashley Bateman, Steve Parry, Gil Dudson, Jamie Murphy, Shaun Owens were the other Dragonhearts players from that first decade who went on to play professional rugby league in some shape or form. Others have followed.

Plus the future Wales Rugby Union star Richard Hibbard played one game for the Dragonhearts, coming on as a substitute in the 28-18 win over England in 2003 in his native Aberavon, while a year later, Tom Brown, now with Cardiff Blues, took to the field in the 56-12 win over Ireland at the old Cardiff Athletics Stadium before winning his lone full international cap against Scotland in Glasgow a few months later.

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