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Ben Evans in Team of the Round

31st October 2013, 20:38

Ben Evans in Team of the Round

Wales second row forward Ben Evans has been named in the Team of the Week for Round one of the Rugby League World Cup.

By Ian Golden

 

Wales second row forward Ben Evans has been named in the Team of the Week for Round one of the Rugby League World Cup.

 

His nomination comes after an outstanding performance where he scored a try in Wales' 32-16 defeat to Italy at the Millennium Stadium last Saturday.

 

The mythical XIII contains no players from England or Scotland but New Zealand lead the way with three players after they beat Samoa 42-24 in their opening match.

 

Captain Simon Mannering, centre Dean Whare and hat-trick scoring winger Manu Vatuvei are the three Kiwis to make the team, which is derived from Opta's statistical analysis.

 

Another player to score a hat-trick, Fijian Akuila Uate, is the other winger, his teammate Kevin Naiqama is the full-back of the round, whilst Italy and Tonga also have two players in the side.

 

Evans, who was Man of the Match at the Millennium Stadium eight years ago when he helped Brynteg Comprehensive win the Year 7 Champion Schools Final, said: “You always have dreams of playing for your country in front of such a big crowd. I over the moon when I scored but I would have given that up for a win."

 

“It’s been a long time since I played at the Millennium Stadium for Brynteg in the curtain raiser to the Challenge Cup Final and that’s where Rugby League started for me.

 

“To go back there and play for Wales in a World Cup opening day at the Millennium Stadium just 20 minutes from where I was born is a fairy-tale. You really couldn’t write about it."

 

Opta Team of the Round:

1. Kevin Naiqama - Fiji

2. Manu Vatuvei - New Zealand

3. Dean Whare - New Zealand

4. Aidan Guerra - Italy

5. Akuila Uate - Fiji

6. Daniel Foster - Tonga

7. Cooper Cronk - Australia

8. Mark Offerdahl - USA

9. Eloi Pelissier - France

10. Paul Vaughan - Italy

11. Ben Evans - Wales

12. Sika Manu - Tonga

13. Simon Mannering - New Zealand