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Olds:

18th October 2018, 10:59

Olds: "I'm over the moon with the call-up"

James Olds can’t wait to return home from Australia as he aims to stake a claim for a place in Wales' side during the European Championship and 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifiers.

Ollie Olds, who is James’ younger brother, has already won eight caps for Wales since making his debut back in 2012, but he isn’t available this autumn because of injury. 

James has now caught the attention of John Kear and earned a call-up following his performances in the southern hemisphere. 

James Olds in action for the Panthers in the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership

The 27-year-old played a key part in West Brisbane Panthers’ second-placed finish in the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership, ending the season as the division’s top scorer.

“I’m over the moon with the call-up,” Olds said. 

“It did come as a bit of a shock, but I’m really excited to be involved.

“I was trying to set goals as high as I could and playing for Wales was always one of those, but I didn’t have it on my mind that I’d be picked this year.

“It’s a good bunch of lads and I’m really looking forward to meeting them all and the coaching staff. 

“A lot of the boys went to the World Cup together and I know they’re a really close group who play for each other. I can hopefully go in and add to that.”

Although Olds has been involved with rugby league from a young age, playing at junior level for Bridgend Blue Bulls, it’s only in the last couple of years that he’s focussed on the 13-man code. 

“When I moved out to Brisbane, Ollie wanted me to play rugby league,” he explained.

“I’ve played a lot of rugby union throughout my career, but it wasn’t until I came out here that I began to play mainly league. 

“I’ve actually played against Ollie a lot since I’ve been out in Australia and I’ve also faced Josh Ralph. They’ve both been at Easts Tigers this year.”

Olds is now eager to carry on his fine form of late on the international scene. 

“I’m really excited to be going home and playing for Wales,” he said.

“I’ve recently had my first child so a lot of my focus has been on my newborn son lately, but it’ll be great to get on the plane, meet everybody and have a shot at playing for my country.”

Tickets for Wales' international with Ireland at the Racecourse Stadium in Wrexham on Sunday, November 11 (3pm) are now on sale. By booking tickets in advance, you can save money on matchday prices.

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