6th June 2013, 10:31
WALES DRAGONHEARTS BREAK NEW GROUND
SEVEN PLAYERS FROM THE NORTH MAKE NEW HOME NATIONS PARTY THE FIRST SQUAD REPRESENTING ALL WALES
By Gary Baker. Wales Rugby League Communications Manager
WALES Rugby League have broken new, exciting ground for the future as, for the first time, the Wales Dragonhearts squad will be a complete representation of the game across the Principality.
The selectors, at their meeting in Llandridod Wells on Wednesday, picked seven players from the North Wales Conference in a 26-man squad for the Home Nations international matches against England, Scotland and Ireland this summer.
It is the first time that the Dragonhearts party, previously picked from players within the South Wales Conference, have included men from the north.
National head coach Mike Grady said: “It was a very positive selection meeting. I feel we will be very competitive by looking at the squad we have got and talking to the coaches.
“That first game is against England will be the test but it will be good to get the toughest game out on first and I think we can be competitive against them.”
The selection process was so difficult that the originally-planned 25-man squad was not enough so an extra place was included, extending the party to 26 men.
Of the seven players from the North Wales Conference included, five are with reigning champions Conwy Celts and two from last year's runners-up Rhyl and Prestatyn Panthers.
The 19 players from the South Wales Conference, which make up the bulk of the squad, include eight players from Valley Cougars, four each from Cardiff Demons and Torfaen Tigers, two from Newport Titans and one player from Bonymaen Broncos.
In addition, the selectors have taken the step of putting a number of players ,who will be with the Welsh Students at July's World Cup, on stand-by for the future games against Ireland and Scotland. Should they be needed, they will be called into the training party before the game with Ireland in Limerick in August.
Grady explained this is aimed at bringing these players into the Welsh fold in the coming years. He said: “The student idea is because we want to build something for the future with these players and it is good to get them involved around the set-up after the World Cup.”
Training for the Dragonhearts squad ahead of the big game with England at The Gnoll on July 14, gets underway on Sunday June 23 at Builth Wells RFC.
Wales Dragonhearts play England Lions at The Gnoll, Neath, on Sunday July 14 before facing Ireland Wolfhounds in Limerick on August 3 and Scotland Bravehearts in North Wales on August 24.
Wales Dragonhearts squad
Paul Emmanuelli - Valley Cougars
Phil Carleton - Cardiff Demons
Martin Luckwell - Valley Cougars
Rhys Meredith - Newport Titans
Michael Harrison - Conwy Celts
Lewis Stockton - Conwy Celts
Dafydd Lloyd - Prestatyn & Rhyl Panthers
Dan Davies - Valley Cougars
Chris True - Cardiff Demons
Jordan Sheridan - Conwy Celts
Liam Wottan - Valley Cougars
James Gregson - Conwy Celts
Kyle Scrivens - Torfaen Tigers
Darryl Carter - Valley Cougars
Gareth Davies - Torfaen Tigers
Gerwyn Price - Valley Cougars
Rhys Davies - Bonymaen Broncos
Anthony Tillie - Prestatyn & Rhyl Panthers
Lee Davies - Conwy Celts
John Sanigar - Valley Cougars
Loren Quick - Cardiff Demons
Neil Dallimore - Cardiff Demons
John Lavender - Newport Titans
Scott Britton - Valley Cougars
Zack Hadley - Torfaen Tigers
Liam Davies - Torfaen Tigers