26th October 2018, 17:27
19-man Wales squad for France trip
John Kear has named his 19-man squad for tomorrow's European Championship and 2021 Rugby League World Cup qualifier with France.
Wales will begin their defence of the European Championship, which they won back in 2015, in Carcassonne as they aim to take one of two World Cup spots.
🏉 KEAR | @LondonBroncosRL's @Kear53 will become the 4⃣7⃣th player to captain #WalesRL 🏴 when he skippers the side against @FFRXIII on Saturday!— Wales Rugby League 🏴 (@WalesRugbyL) October 25, 2018
Who's ready for the European Championship and @RLWC2021 qualifiers?! 💪#rugbyleague
Led by new captain Elliot Kear, who will become the 47th player to skipper the country, there are six uncapped players in the squad: Chris Vitalini, Connor and Curtis Davies, Sion Jones, Elliott Jenkins and James Olds.
While the Davies twins and Jones all played a part in Halifax's encouraging season in the Championship, Olds finished as the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership's top scorer.
Josh Ralph, who has also flown over from Australia for the tournament, is included in the 19, as are 2017 World Cup squad members Dalton Grant, Ben Evans, Gavin Bennion, Ben Morris, Rhodri Lloyd, Courtney Davies and Steve Parry.
Rhys Williams, the leading Wales try scorer of all time, is only three appearances off the record in that category. Jordan James and Ian Watson are currently the most-capped players on 30.
On his 19-man squad, Wales boss John Kear said: “We’ve had an excellent week of training and we’re all looking forward to getting started in the European Championship and World Cup qualifiers.
“We’ve got some new faces in the squad as well as those who’ve played for us for a number of years. It’s an exciting squad full of players who’ve come through the Welsh systems.
“All of the players have trained really well this week and are raring to go.
“We’re expecting a tough match over in France as they’ve got plenty of quality in their side, but we’re hoping to put in a good display and start the tournament with a positive result.”
WALES 19-MAN SQUAD: Dalton Grant (Bradford Bulls), Chris Vitalini (Coventry Bears), Josh Ralph (Easts Tigers), Chester Butler, Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Dan Fleming, Sion Jones (all Halifax), Ben Evans, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Elliott Jenkins (Rochdale Hornets), Gavin Bennion (Salford Red Devils), Ben Morris (St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Courtney Davies (unattached), James Olds (West Brisbane Panthers), Morgan Evans, Steve Parry (both West Wales Raiders).
FRANCE 19-MAN SQUAD: Bastien Escamilla (Carcassonne XIII), Lucas Albert, Jason Baitieri, Lambert Belmas, Alrix da Costa, Tony Gigot, Mickael Goudemand, Benjamin Jullien (Catalans Dragons), Hakim Miloudi (Hull FC), Thibaud Margalet (St Esteve/XIII Catalan), Theo Fages (St Helens), Bastien Ader, William Barthau, Rhys Curran, Paul Marcon, Stanislas Robin, (Toulouse Olympique), Morgan Escare, Romain Navarette (Wigan Warrioirs), Valentin Yesa (XIII Limouxin)
You can follow live updates on Wales' clash with France on our official social media channels, while there will be a live stream on the BBC Sport website.
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 on matchday prices.
🎟 TICKETS | Going to 🏴 #WalesRL v @Irelandrl at @Wrexham_AFC’s Racecourse Stadium?— Wales Rugby League 🏴 (@WalesRugbyL) October 25, 2018
By booking tickets in advance, you can save on matchday prices! 👍
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