Saints duo named in Wales squad

St Helens' Regan Grace is tackled by Wigan Warriors' Jack Wells 

Betfred Super League match at the Totally Wicked Stadium
St Helens' Regan Grace is tackled by Wigan Warriors' Jack Wells Betfred Super League match at the Totally Wicked Stadium

Jet-heeled winger Regan Grace, who burst on the Super League scene in style against Wigan Warriors on Good Friday and finished the season with 11 tries under is belt, is one of three Saints' players chosen by Wales' boss John Kear for the forthcoming World Cup.

The others are loose forward Morgan Knowles - a first team regular at the Totally Wicked Stadium in 2017 - and Ben Morris, who is still to make his senior debut for the club.

But team-mate Calvin Wellington, who has featured once in the first team during his St Helens career, has been ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

Head coach Kear said: “I’m really happy with the squad that I’ve got for the tournament.

“We’ve had withdrawals – some because of injury and some for personal reasons – but the lads who are going are showing a great deal of desire to represent their country.

“I’m pretty certain that they will perform at this World Cup on the biggest stage. It’s a great opportunity.

“We’ve not won a World Cup match since 2000. We didn’t qualify for the 2008 World Cup and we didn’t win in 2013.

“It’s a long time between World Cup wins, but we’re unbeaten in six matches and the main goal is to get that first win. There’s then nothing to say that we can’t get out of the group and make the quarter-finals.”

Wales:

Courtney Davies, Steve Parry (both Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax), Danny Ansell (Hunslet), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Joe Burke (Oldham), Gavin Bennion, Ant Walker (both Rochdale Hornets), Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (both South Wales Ironmen), Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Josh Ralph (Tweed Head Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matty Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls).

The squad will fly out to Brisbane for a further training camp on Tuesday October 17.

Wales will open their Rugby League World Cup 2017 campaign against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on Saturday, October 28.

They will then travel to Townsville in North Queensland to take on Fiji on Sunday, November 5.

One week later, the Dragons will play their final group match against Ireland in Perth.