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Wales to take on Serbia in Llanelli

22nd March 2016, 13:10

Wales to take on Serbia in Llanelli

International Rugby League will be held in Llanelli for the first time in 16 years when Wales host Serbia in a Rugby League World Cup qualifying match on Saturday 15th October at Parc Stebonheath (kick-off 6pm).

International Rugby League will be held in Llanelli for the first time in 16 years when Wales host Serbia in a Rugby League World Cup qualifying match on Saturday 15th October at Parc Stebonheath (kick-off 6pm).

 

The last time Wales played in this town was in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup when Wales edged out a Hazem El Masri inspired Lebanon side 24-22.

 

Wales played three full internationals at the Parc Stebonheath ground before the second World War, beating France 41-7 in 1935 in front of a reported 30,000 crowd, before an 18-2 win over the same opponents in 1938 and a 17-9 win over England later that same year. All games were part of victorious European Championship campaigns for the Welsh.

 

Since the war, the stadium has primarily been used for football as the home of Welsh Football League side Llanelli Town AFC, but since 2015, it has also been the fortress of Conference South Rugby League side West Wales Raiders.

 

Raiders’ director Andrew Thorne is looking forward to hosting such an important event in Wales’ first step to World Cup glory.

 

“I'm so pleased that the World Cup qualifier against Serbia is being played at Parc Stebonheath,” he said. “Trying to build Rugby League in West Wales has always been tough, but over the last two years with the support of Wales Rugby League, we have managed to grow participation in the sport and now have a junior pathway. With the game coming to Stebonheath, I can only see that this fantastic sport will grow even more in the West.

 

“This is sure to be a fantastic event and hope that the public in Llanelli and the surrounding areas come and support the Wales team on the start of their World Cup campaign.”

 

Meryl Gravell, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board member for Regeneration and Leisure, said: "It's absolutely wonderful to have the Wales Rugby League national side coming to Llanelli to continue the hard work that West Wales Rugby League are doing for the local area.”

 

Wales are taking part in a three team group this autumn in the attempt to qualify for the 2017 Rugby League World Cup finals in Australia. In addition to the home game against Serbia in Llanelli, Wales will travel to Italy a fortnight later. The winner of the group goes straight through to the finals with the runners up taking on the second place side from Ireland, Spain and Russia in a final challenge in Leigh on November 4th.

 

Wales coach John Kear is looking forward to his side playing in Llanelli and believes that Serbia will be strong opposition, especially after recently playing a full international match in Australia involving both Serbian and Australian born players.

 

“It’s exciting that we’re going to South West Wales,” he said. “It’s an area we’ve not played in since the last World Cup in 2013 when we took on Cook Islands in Neath.

 

“I’m anticipating support and enthusiasm from all the sports fans around the area and I’m sure it will be well attended.

 

“It’s a big game for us as we need to get to the World Cup, there’s no doubt about that. It’s now getting to knock out proportions so every game is very important.

 

“Serbia are looking to strengthen and that’s why they played their recent international match against the Philippines in Australia through that. Brian Smith is with them too and he’ll make sure they will be well drilled. They will be a formidable challenge for us.”

 

Wales Rugby League have had links with Llanelli for over 100 years. No less than 46 players who have turned out for Llanelli RUFC or the Scarlets have played Rugby League for Wales, while at least 15 WRL internationals were born in Llanelli. This is something that Wales Rugby League chairman Brian Juliff is keen to celebrate.

 

He said: “I am thrilled that we are playing this game in Llanelli as it presents us with a great opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding heritage players that originated from West Wales.

 

“Supporting Andrew Thorne and his team of administrators and players as they continue to develop Rugby League in the region is a real pleasure, as I am fully aware of the huge amount of hard work and enthusiasm these volunteers bring to Wales Rugby League.

 

“Wales are the current European Rugby League Champions but we are very aware of the changing playing personnel that we will face in both qualifying games against Serbia and Italy due to our opponents’ intentions to field Australian based heritage players.

 

“We will, of course, stay strong to our belief that playing home grown players will continue to pay long term dividends and promote a sustainable and successful Wales Rugby League team.

 

“On that basis alone it would be hugely encouraging if our local supporters could fill the stadium and cheer our boys to success in this important first game. Cymru Am Byth!”

 

Tickets for Wales v Serbia at Parc Stebonheath in Llanelli on Saturday 15th October will be on sale from April.

 

 

THE WALES – LLANELLI LINK

 

Full Wales international matches in Llanelli

 

Date Year Team   Score Opposition Halftime Crowd  
Nov 23rd 1935 Wales W 41 -7 France 19 -5 21,590
 
  View  
 
Apr 2nd 1938 Wales W 18 -2 France 3 -2 17,000
 
  View  
 
Nov 5th 1938 Wales W 17 -9 England 12 -0 15,000
 
  View  
 
Nov 2nd 2000 Wales W 24 - 22 Lebanon 18 -6 1,497
 
  View  
 

 

Wales Rugby League internationals known to have been born in Llanelli – players’ heritage numbers are listed at the start of each row

 

33           David Davies 1910 – 1 cap (Salford, Swinton, Lancashire, Llanelli RU, Bolton Wanderers FC, Wales FA)

64           Bryn Williams 1921-22 – 2 caps, 1 try (Batley, Leeds, Pontypridd RL, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)

75           Edgar Morgan 1921-26 – 5 caps, 2 tries (Great Britain, Hull FC, New Dock Stars RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)

109         Emlyn Gwynne 1928 – 1 cap (Great Britain, Hull FC, Mountain Ash RU, Swansea RU)

160         Oliver Morris 1938-41 – 5 caps (Hunslet, Leeds, Llanelli RU, Pontypridd RU)

182         Idwal Davies 1945 – 1 cap (Leeds, Hendy RU, Pontarddulais RU, Swansea RU, Wales RU)

184         Fred Hughes 1945-46 – 3 caps (Barrow, Workington Town, Liverpool Stanley, Llanelli RU, Swansea RU)

186         Jack Bowen 1945-48 – 2 caps (Wigan, Llanelli RU)

188         Gareth Price 1945-48 – 11 caps, 4 tries (Leeds, Halifax, Doncaster, Llanelli RU)

241         Mel Tierney 1953 1 cap (Belle Vue Rangers)

287         Roy Mathias 1975-81 – 20 caps, 2 tries (Great Britain, St Helens, Cardiff City Blue Dragons, Felinfoel RU, Llanelli RU, Barbarians RU)

291         Stuart Gallacher 1975 – 4 caps (Bradford Northern, Keighley, Felinfoel RU, Llanelli RU, Barbarians RU, Wales RU)

314         Paul Prenderville 1979-84 – 6 caps, 1 try (Great Britain, Hull, Leeds, York, Llanelli RU)

326         Roger Owen 1981 – 2 caps (St Helens, Llanelli RU, New Dock Stars RU)

448         Geraint Davies 2008-11 – 7 caps, 1 try (South Wales Scorpions, Celtic Crusaders, Aberavon Fighting irish, Limoux Grizzlies, Wales Students, Llandovery RU, Coventry RU, Tonmawr RU)

 

Additional Wales Rugby League internationals known to have played for Llanelli RFC or Scarlets – players’ heritage numbers are listed at the start of each row

 

43           Evan Davies 1912-13, 3 caps (Great Britain, Oldham, Llanelli RU)

57           Willie Davies 1914-21 – 2 caps (Great Britain, Other Nationalities, Leeds, Aberavon RU, Swansea RU, Plymouth RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)      

72           Frankie Evans, 1921-28 7 caps, 7 tries (Great Britain, Other Nationalities, Swinton, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)               

94           Ike Fowler 1926, 1 cap, 1 try (Other Nationalities, Batley, Ammanford RU, Tycroes RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)               

166         Emlyn Hughes 1938-39, 2 caps (St Helens, Huddersfield, Llanelli RU)        

183         Mel de Lloyd 1945, 1 cap (Warrington, Keighley, Resolven RU, Llanelli RU)            

185         Emrys Evans 1945, 1 cap (Salford, Wigan, Amman United RU, Cwmgors RU, Llanelli RU)  

191         Ted Ward 1946-51, 13 caps, 1 try, 25 goals (Great Britain, Wigan, Oldham, Cardiff RLFC, Llanelli RU)           

196         Elwyn Gwyther 1947-53, 16 caps, 2 tries (Great Britain, Belle Vue Rangers, Leeds, Penclawdd RU, Llanelli RU)               

201         Les Thomas 1947, 5 caps, 3 tries (Great Britain, Oldham, Llanelli, Wales RU)

203         Hagen Evans 1947-49, 2 caps (Bradford Northern, Hull, Llanelli RU)           

210         Derek Howes 1948-50, 5 caps, 1 try (Wakefield Trinity, Llanelli RU)           

219         Les Williams 1949-53, 15 caps, 5 tries (Hunslet, Cardiff RU, Llanelli, Wales RU)      

243         Lewis Jones 1953-63, 2 caps, 5 goals (Great Britain, Other Nationalities, Leeds, Neath RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU, British and Irish Lions RU)    

254         Kel Coslett 1963-75, 13 caps, 1 try, 8 goals (St Helens, Rochdale Hornets, Wigan, Aberavon RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)

261         Idwal Fisher 1963, 1 cap (Warrington, Bradford Northern, Swansea RU, Llanelli RU)

263         Terry Price 1968-70 – 5 caps, 2 tries (Great Britain, Bradford Northern, London Welsh RU, Hendy RU, New Dock Stars RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU, British and Irish Lions RU) 

270         John Warlow 1968-70, 3 caps (Great Britain, St Helens, Widnes, Rochdale, Felinfoel RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)               

295         Brian Butler 1975-77 – 4 caps (Bradford Northern, Swinton, Warrington, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)  

320         Clive Griffiths 1980-81, 2 caps (St Helens, Salford, Penclawdd RU, Barbarians RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU) 

322         Graham Walters 1980-84, 3 caps (Hull, Wakefield Trinity, Bridgend Blue Dragons, Swansea RU, Llanelli RU)               

331         Tommy David 1981-82 – 2 caps   (Cardiff City Blue Dragons, Pontypridd RU, Newport RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU, British and Irish Lions RU)

332         Paul Ringer 1981-82, 2 caps (Cardiff City Blue Dragons, Leicester RU, Ebbw Vale RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)               

342         Jonathan Davies 1991-95, 9 caps, 3 tries, 39 goals, 5 drop goals (Great Britain, Widnes, Canterbury Bulldogs, Warrington, North Queensland Cowboys, Trimsaran RU, Neath RU, Cardiff RU, Llanelli RU, Barbarians RU, Wales RU)               

344         Jonathan Griffiths 1991-94, 6 caps, 2 tries, 1 drop goal (Great Britain, St Helens, Carmarthen Quins RU, Llanelli RU, Barbarians RU, Wales RU)   

350         Paul Moriarty 1991-2000, 16 caps (Great Britain, Widnes, Halifax, South Wales, Cardiff RU, Swansea RU, Llanelli RU, Barbarians RU, Wales RU)    

353         Rowland Phillips 1991-98, 17 caps, 4 tries (Great Britain, Warrington, Workington Town, St Davids RU, Neath RU, London Welsh RU, Llanelli RU, Wales RU)    

355         Gary Pearce 1991-92, 4 caps, 3 goals, 1 drop goal (Hull, Scarborough Pirates, York, Bridgend RU, Carmarthen Athletic RU, Laugharne RU, Llanelli RU, Barbarians RU, Wales RU)             

374         Scott Quinnell 1995, 4 caps, 3 tries (Wigan, Richmond RU, Llanelli RU, Scarlets RU, Wales RU, Barbarians RU, British and Irish Lions RU)            

392         Stephen Thomas 1999-2007, 5 caps, 2 tries (Warrington, London Broncos, Gloucester RU, Llandovery RU, Neath RU, Scarlets RU) 

426         Richard Johnston 2005-06, 4 caps, 2 tries (Celtic Crusaders, Aberavon Fighting Irish, Neath RU, Pontypridd RU, Llanelli RU, Scarlets RU)

429         Karl Hocking 2005, 1 cap (Celtic Crusaders, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Caerphilly RU, Tondu RU, Maesteg RU, Bridgend Ravens RU, Llanelli RU)             

446         Rhys Williams 2008-date, 21 caps, 16 tries (Celtic Crusaders, Rhyl Coasters, Warrington Wolves, Castleford Tigers, Salford City Reds, Swinton Lions, Central Queensland Capras, London Broncos, Mold RU, RGC 1404 RU, Scarlets U16 RU)              

458         Christiaan Roets 2009-date – 21 caps, 13 tries (South Wales Scorpions, North Wales Crusaders, Swansea Valley Miners, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Llandeilo RU, Llandovery RU, Tonmawr RU, Whitland RU, Caldy RU, Llanelli RU)               

494         Phil Carleton 2014, 1 cap (South Wales Scorpions, Valley Cougars, Cardiff Demons, Aberavon Fighting Irish, Gateshead Thunder, Aberavon RU, Llanelli RU)