15th October 2010, 08:13
Andrew Gay hoping for second Wales cap
South Wales Scorpions star Andrew Gay will hope to win his second cap.
South Wales Scorpions star Andrew Gay will hope to win his second Welsh cap on Sunday after being selected in Wales' 20-man squad for the important Alitalia European Cup encounter against Ireland at his home ground of The Gnoll in Neath (kick-off 2pm).
Gay is Australian born and came over to Wales in January specifically to play some play Rugby League in Wales as his father was born in Splott in Cardiff and moved out to Australia over 30 years ago as a youngster.
Andrew trialled for the Scorpions in January and ended up staying but never in his wildest dreams did he believe that he'd playing for his national side by the end of the year. He won his first senior cap against Italy last week and was then promoted to the European Cup squad as a result. He wasn't included in the squad for Scotland but now hopes to get his chance on Sunday.
"I was surprised to make the 20-man squad for this game," he said. "Especially as I was only drafted into the tournament squad late on because of injuries to other players. I'm hoping to get selected for the playing squad on the day as it will be special for me playing for Wales at The Gnoll, my home ground.
"I hope it gets a bit warmer though as I'm absolutely freezing at the moment. I'm from the Central Coast in Australia, about an hour and half north of Sydney so I'm not used to these temperatures."
And when Andrew's father heard that he had initially been selected for the Wales under 23 squad, he immediately booked himself on a plane from Sydney to watch his son in action.
The under 23 game was eventually postponed but his father did get to see him in action for the full test side in the re-arranged Italian encounter.
"Making my debut for Wales was awesome," he said. "I've always been brought up knowing about my Welsh heritage so it meant a lot to me, especially standing in the middle of the field when the anthem was playing, that was amazing.
"As I told a few of the boys recently, I was only planning on staying in Wales for a couple of months and then do some travelling but playing for the Scorpions went well and I ended up here for the whole season. I didn't ever believe that I'd end up playing for Wales at the end of it.
"My dad's staying for the whole tournament now and we're both going back on October 26th. I'll be back again in a couple of months for the new Scorpions season.
"His eyes were tearing up a little bit when the National Anthem was playing in Wrexham and when I was running out but he's looking forward to Sunday now just like me."
Advance tickets for Wales' only home game in the tournament against Ireland at The Gnoll in Neath on Sunday 17th October (kick-off 2pm) priced £4 for juniors and £8 for adults can be bought by going to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk. These prices will go up on the day to £5 and £10 respectively so please buy in advance, with no booking fee, to reap the savings.
WALES: Mark Lennon (Cronulla Sharks), Chris Beasley, Ian Webster (both Central Queensland Comets), Ben Flower, Gareth Thomas, Gil Dudson, Jordan James, Lee Williams, Lloyd White (all Crusaders), Ross Divorty (Featherstone Rovers), Danny Jones (Keighley Cougars), Neil Budworth (Mackay Cutters), Andrew Gay, Aled James, Christiaan Roets (all South Wales Scorpions), Jacob Emmitt (St Helens), Ian Watson (Swinton Lions), Lee Briers, Rhys Williams (both Warrington Wolves), Jordan Ross (York City Knights).