DOMESTIC match reports from Wales courtesy Mark Harris and Simon Green.
OFFICIAL round-up courtesy Ian Golden of the Welsh Select XIII's weekend curtain-raiser game v Royal Navy at Celtic Crusaders.
IN front of the biggest Brewery Field crowd of 2007, Wales slumped to a 21-14 defeat at home to Scotland after conceding three second-half tries without reply.
WALES are hoping for their biggest international rugby league attendance in four years when they face Scotland in their first World Cup qualifying match at the Brewery Field in Bridgend on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
LEE Briers is back from Australia ready to lead Wales on Sunday 29th October when they face Scotland at the Brewery Field in their first Rugby League World Cup qualifying match.
WALES have included four Super League and six Celtic Crusaders players in their initial 21-man squad for the Rugby League World Cup qualifier against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October.The squad also includes Mark Lennon who plays for Manly Sea Eagles in Australia?s NRL and Phil Joseph from Hull Kingston Rovers who will be playing in Super League next season after helping his side win the National League One Grand Final on October 8th.But the big news for Wales is, as announced two weeks ago, Iestyn Harris will play for his country in rugby league for the first time in almost six years when he runs out at the Brewery Field in just under two weeks time.The Bradford Bulls stand-off last played for Wales in the World Cup semi-final match against Australia in Huddersfield on November 19th 2000. He made his Welsh international debut against Australia on October 30th 1994 and is currently the country?s record points scorer for with 145 in his 17 games.Since then, he has had a spell in union with Cardiff Blues and Wales and on his return to league, has been unable to play for Wales due to his involvement with Great Britain.Warrington?s Lee Briers will captain the side once again following his best season ever for Wolves where he scored nine tries and 105 goals leading them to the second round of the play-offs, and despite being in Australia with the Great Britain Tri-Nations squad. In a special arrangement with the Lions, Briers will fly back to Wales on October 21st before returning down under the day after the match.There is no place in the squad for Crusaders? Paul Morgan meaning that he has now played his last game of rugby league following his retirement announcement last week, but there is a surprise inclusion for Richard Johnson who hasn?t played since breaking his arm in the Crusaders? win over Barrow on July 16th.Three potential debutants have been named ? Geraint Davies and Hywel Davies from Celtic Crusaders and Widnes Vikings? Gary Hulse. Hulse will be extra determined to get into the 17-man matchday squad as, after being selected for Wales last year, missed out on his international debut due to injury.The match is the first in a two-legged encounter for Wales for the winners qualifying for the 13th Rugby League World Cup Finals in Australia in October 2008.Wales Squad 2006Anthony Blackwood - Halifax RLFCLee Briers - Warrington Wolves (capt)Geraint Davies - Celtic CrusadersHywel Davies - Celtic CrusadersGareth Dean - Celtic CrusadersDamien Gibson - Halifax RLFCIestyn Harris - Bradford BullsPaul Highton - Salford City RedsAdam Hughes - Widnes VikingsGary Hulse - Widnes VikingsAled James - Celtic CrusadersJordan James - Widnes VikingsRichard Johnson - Celtic CrusadersPhil Joseph - Hull Kingston RoversMark Lennon - Manly Sea EaglesDavid Mills - Harlequins RLChris Morley - Swinton LionsBryn Powell - Dewsbury RamsGareth Price - Celtic CrusadersRobert Roberts - Leigh CenturionsIan Watson - Widnes VikingsTeam Manager - John DevereuxHead Coach - Martin HallAssistant Coach - Anthony FarrellAssistant Coach - Kevin EllisFitness/Skills - Allan BatemanPhysiotherapist - Ben SearleKit Man - Tony JamesSource: http://www.cymrurl.com
IESTYN Harris today confirmed his availability for Wales for the World Cup Qualifier against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October.The Bradford Bulls stand-off last played for Wales in the World Cup semi-final match against Australia in Huddersfield on November 19th 2000. He made his Welsh international debut against Australia on October 30th 1994 and is currently the country?s record points scorer for with 145 in his 17 games.Since then, he has had a spell in union with Cardiff Blues and Wales and on his return to league, has been unable to play for Wales due to his involvement with Great Britain.However because of his retirement from the Lions and the adjustment of his holiday dates, he can now play for Wales in their first qualifier for the 2008 World Cup.Wales Rugby League Executive Chairman Mark Rowley said: ?Iestyn confirmed his availability with us today and I?m over the moon with this news. We?ve been working hard to help him adjust his holiday dates so he can play and the fact that he was willing to do that in the first place proves his dedication to his country. We?re all looking forward to seeing him back in a Wales shirt on October 29th in Bridgend.?Source: www.crusadersrfl.com
TICKETS go on sale this Monday (21st August) for Wales Rugby League?s World Cup qualifying campaign which kicks-off against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October.It is destined to be an exciting campaign for Wales as in addition to Scotland, they have been drawn in the European Qualifying Group A with Russia and will travel to Moscow for their second game a week later, before the fixtures are reversed at the end of the 2007 domestic season. The winner of the group qualifies automatically for the World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008 while the runners-up will enter a ?Repechage Round? with the runners-up of European Group B (Ireland, Lebanon or Georgia), the third-placed side in the Pacific Group (Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa or Tonga) and the winners of the Atlantic Group (West Indies, South Africa, USA and Japan). The winners only of the Repechage Round will also qualify for the Finals.Wales Rugby League?s Executive Chairman Mark Rowley said: ?This is an exciting time for Wales Rugby League as we approach our centenary year in 2007 and we would love to celebrate by qualifying for the World Cup Finals in Australia in 2008. However we have to get past Scotland and Russia first, neither of whom are strangers to Wales and know a lot about our style of rugby. ?The match against Scotland at the Brewery Field on Sunday 29th October is destined to be one of the biggest rugby league internationals to have ever hit south Wales. With the news that Iestyn Harris and Keiron Cunningham may at last pull on a Wales shirt once again, we?ve had enquiries about tickets already so we?re pleased to announce that tickets for this match and for our match against Russia next year, go on sale this Monday.?Once again, Wales Rugby League has showed that they are leading the way. We are the first country in Europe to make our tickets available for the autumn internationals and the first in the world to sell 2007 rugby league tickets on-line.?The tickets are on sale on Monday exclusively to the Wales Rugby League and Celtic Crusaders websites. Fans will also be able to order them in person at the Celtic Crusaders v Featherstone Rovers match on September 10th at the Brewery Field and at any home play-off games that the Crusaders may feature in. Ticket prices are ?10 for adults, ?5 for children and ?20 for a family ticket of four (one adult and three children or two adults and two children). Go to www.cymrurl.com and click on tickets link to buy.The full World Cup qualifying fixtures in Wales? group are...* October 21/22 2006 Scotland v. Russia* October 29 2006 Wales v. Scotland * November 4/5 2006 Russia v. Wales * October 21 2007 Wales v. Russia* October 27/28 2007 Russia v. Scotland * November 3/4 2007 Scotland v. Wales
WALES have released a list of 49 players that they will be considering for selection for their World Cup qualifiers, due to be held in October-November in 2006 and 2007.
WALES have released an unchanged squad as they travel to France for their European Nations Cup Final on Saturday (kick-off 5pm CET, 4pm GMT).