How John Kear’s side could line up at the World Cup

(LR) Regan Grace, Harry Smith and Gil Dudson could all play for Wales at the World Cup

We create how each nation could line up before the World Cup, in collaboration with He can play for. This week, it’s Wales!

In these weekly reports, we select our predicted side which can represent Wales. This may include players born in that country, with national heritage or even residency.

The first five were France, Jamaica, Cook Islands, Fiji and Ireland. Now is the time for Wales

How Wales could line up at the World Cup

1. Caleb Aekins

Caleb Aekins Leigh Centurions SWpix
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Aekins was born and raised in New Zealand but qualifies to play for Wales thanks to his mother, who is from Barry Island.

Leigh star aspires to play World Cup, he says love rugby league: “That would be all for my mother. My grandfather too, he was a proud Welshman, he was the one who took us over. He passed away a few years ago, but I know that would mean everything to him. He would be proud.

WELSH DREAM: Leigh star Caleb Aekins dreams of playing in the World Cup

2. Rhys Williams

Rhys Williams

Flintshire-born Williams is Wales’ all-time record holder, with 31 caps to his name. He passed Ian Watson and Jordan James on the all-time list when Wales played France in Albi in June.

The Salford aviator hopes to play his third World Cup this fall.

RECORD BREAKER: Wales captain Rhys Williams hailed for record appearance

3. Best of Bradman

Best Bradman

Best is considered one of the best young talents Down Under. The 20-year-old has scored 15 tries in 42 games for Newcastle Knights since making his NRL debut in 2019.

Best was born and raised in Australia but qualifies to play for Wales through the heritage rule. He is the son of former London Broncos player Roger Best.

DRAGONS: Bradman Best could represent Wales at the World Cup

4.Rhys Evans

Rhys Evans Bradford Bulls SWpix
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Bridgend-born Evans made his debut for Wales in 2013. He won three caps for his country and represented them at the Nines World Cup in 2019.

The Bradford center has made almost 200 career appearances for Warrington, Leigh and the Bulls.

5. Regan Grace

Regan Grace St Helens SWpix
Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

If Wales are going to have a solid World Cup campaign, then this man will be an integral part of it. He made his senior debut for Wales before he even made his debut for St Helens in 2015!

The Port Talbot-born speedster is a St Helens fan favorite and is hoping to play his second World Cup. He won three Grand Finals and a Challenge Cup with the Saints.

6. Harry Smith

Harry Smith Wigan Warriors.jpg

The Challenge Cup winner was born and raised in Widnes but qualifies to play across Wales through his grandfather, who is from Cardiff.

Wales have contacted the England Knights international over his possibility of playing for them at the World Cup, Smith telling love rugby league he is currently considering his options. He is eligible to play for England and Wales.

Under eligibility rules, Smith would still be allowed to play for England at a later date if he played for Wales at this World Cup, as they are a tier two nation.

APPEAL TO WALES: Wigan star Harry Smith considering Wales World Cup call-up

7. Josh Ralph

Josh Ralph Wales

The 24-year-old currently plays for the RCMP in the New South Wales Cup.

Ralph was born on the Gold Coast in Queensland but is eligible to play for Wales under the family inheritance ruling. He earned four caps for Wales, scoring four tries. Ralph hopes to play his second World Cup later this year.

8. Gil Dudson

Gil Dudson Catalans Dragons AP

Of all the Welsh props, Dudson has the most big game experience. The Welshman has been playing in the Super League since joining the Crusaders in 2009.

The 31-year-old was part of the Wigan side that did the double in 2013, with him playing for Wales at the World Cup later that year.

Dudson has since reached major finals with Salford and the Catalans. He will be a Warrington player in 2023.

9. Matty Fozard

Matty Fozard Widnes Vikings SWpix.jpg
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

The Widnes hooker has won nine caps for Wales since making his international debut under current manager John Kear in 2013. He was part of Wales’ squad for the last World Cup in 2017.

Fozard has made almost 200 career appearances for Wales, Sheffield, the London Broncos and Widnes.

10. Dan Fleming

Dan Fleming Bradford Bulls SWpix.jpg
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Fleming was born in Halifax but is eligible to play for Wales via his family heritage. He has won nine caps for Wales since making his debut in 2012.

The 29-year-old prop played in the 2013 World Cup as well as the 2019 World Cup nine-a-side. He currently plays for Bradford in the Championship.

SET OF SIX: Dan Fleming on idolizing Jamie Peacock and Stuart Fielden as well as his wish for expansion

11. Chester Butler

Chester Butler Huddersfield SWPix
Photo: Allan McKenzie/SWpix

Butler is the grandson of British and Welsh legend Colin Dixon. He has scored two tries in five games for Wales so far and was part of their squad for the last World Cup.

The 26-year-old is currently on loan at Bradford from Super League side Huddersfield.

12. Tyson Frizell

Tyson Frizell Wales SWpix.jpg
Photo: Alex Whitehead/SWpix

Frizell is well known for being a representative for Australia and New South Wales, but he actually made his international debut for Wales in 2011.

He was born in Australia to a Welsh father and a Tongan mother. He earned six caps for Wales between 2011 and 2013, playing at the 2013 World Cup. The 30-year-old, who has made over 200 NRL appearances, switched allegiance to Australia in 2016.

Could we see Frizell again in a Wales shirt this fall?

ELIGIBILITY: Wales in talks with eligible NRL stars over World Cup possibility

13. Ben Evans

Ben Evans Wales.jpg

Evans, born in Bridgend, is the twin brother of Rhys, who featured earlier in this team. Ben has won 11 caps for Wales since making his international debut in 2012.

The Bradford pillar could play in his third World Cup this fall. He also played in the Nines World Cup in Sydney in 2019.


14. Elliot Kear

Elliot Kear Salford.jpg

Kear is one of the most versatile players you will ever meet. The Cardiff-born utility can play full-back, wing, center or even full-back.

The 33-year-old has scored 12 tries in 27 appearances for his country. Kear could play in his third World Cup this fall if selected.

15. Bailey Antrobus

Bailey Antrobus York
Photo courtesy of the Knights of York

Antrobus has expressed his desire to represent his Welsh heritage at the World Cup following his move to Championship side York.

The 22-year-old made his international debut for Wales in their 34-10 loss to France in Albi in June.

ANTROBUS: York signs Welsh prospect for NRL World Cup

16. Ant walker

Ant Walker Bradford Bulls SWpix.jpg
Photo: Paul Currie/SWpix

The Bradford accessory has won nine caps for Wales so far. He hopes to play his second World Cup after appearing in the 2013 tournament.

Walker has been given the green light to return to rugby league in 2021 after a four-year layoff. He was previously told to retire due to an underlying brain abnormality in 2017.

17. Tom Hopkins

Brett Ferres Featherstone SWPix
Brett Ferres of Featherstone is tackled by Tom Hopkins of Barrow | Photo: John Clifton/SWpix

The Barrow striker made his international debut for Wales in their mid-season loss to France.

Hopkins has played for the Raiders the past three seasons. He hopes to play his World Cup at the end of the year.

Thanks to He Can Play For for their collaboration, you can follow them on Twitter and Instagram.

PODCAST: Andrew Henderson on Combined Nations All Stars and international rugby league

LINK TREE: Love Rugby League website, podcast, app and Fantasy RL


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