Rhys Williams will captain Wales when he makes a record-breaking 31st appearance for his country against France on Sunday.
Williams will set a new record for appearances for the men’s senior side, surpassing former teammates Jordan James and Ian Watson. He already holds the record for most tries scored by a Welshman at men’s senior level, with 22.
Our winger could face off against Red Devils teammate, Morgan Escare, who was yesterday named in France’s squad for Sunday’s clash.
The squad in full: Bailey Antrobus* (York City Knights), Joe Burke (West Wales Raiders), Chester Butler (Huddersfield Giants – on loan at Bradford Bulls), Michael Butt (Swinton Lions), Connor Davies (Workington Town), Curtis Davies (Workington Town), Will Evans* (Whitehaven), Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls), Kyle Evans* (Wakefield Trinity), Jude Ferreira* (Hull FC – on loan London Broncos), Matty Fozard (Widnes Vikings), Dalton Grant (London Broncos), Cobi Green* (Rochdale Hornets), Tom Hopkins* (Barrow Raiders), Lewis Hulme* (Widnes Vikings), Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls), Owen Restall* (Oldham Roughyeds), Luis Roberts* (Leigh Centurions), Luke Thomas* (Warrington Wolves), Anthony Walker (Bradford Bulls), Rhys Williams (c) (Salford Red Devils). *Uncapped
The iconic Great Britain jersey will return to the international stage this autumn.
The recent meeting of the Rugby League International Federation confirmed a four-match tour of New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Great Britain Rugby League Lions – with full details of the schedule to be released in Auckland tonight.
It will be the first time Great Britain have played since the home series against New Zealand in the autumn of 2007, and their first appearance in the southern hemisphere since the 2006 Tri-Series – reviving a tradition which dates back to 1910, when the first touring team after the 1895 Northern Union breakaway were known as the Lions.
In addition to two Tests against the Kiwis and one against the Kumuls – the latter a first in Papua New Guinea since 1996 – Great Britain will play their first ever Test against the Tonga team who made such an impact in the 2017 Rugby League World Cup, including in a stirring semi final against England in Auckland.
Wayne Bennett, who has been the England coach since 2016, will be the head coach of the 2019 Rugby League Lions, with further details of his support staff, the composition of the squad and the selection process, the kit design, and kick-off times and travel packages for the tour to follow in coming weeks.
“It’s an honour to be involved in the revival of the Great Britain team as head coach,” said Bennett.
“I’ve coached against them in the past with Australia, and wherever you’re from in the world of Rugby League, that Great Britain jersey is a famous one – and I’m sure the current generation of players will be excited by the prospect of wearing it and representing their country in New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.
“It’s an exciting prospect for international Rugby League, and good to have that Great Britain tradition back.”
Ralph Rimmer, the chief executive of the Rugby Football League, said:“The return of the famous Great Britain jersey is something people have been talking about for a long time – so this is an exciting announcement for us.
“It’s 12 years since Great Britain last played a Test, and 13 since they last travelled to the southern hemisphere, for the Tri-Nations series of 2006.
“While the development of the England Performance Unit has been a priority and a success for the RFL, across Men’s, Women’s and Wheelchair Rugby League – and will continue to be as we build towards the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – there is such history and tradition around that Great Britain shirt.
“It’s great for the game to have it back, as part of the schedule drawn up by the RLIF also including the Oceania Cup. We’ll be committed to respecting and honouring that tradition as we build up to the tour through 2019.”
The announcement has also been welcomed by senior figures from Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Barry Coade, Chairman of Rugby League Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Great Britain & Ireland will tour again this Autumn. The tour looks like a real challenge given the rise of the Pacific nations and we think this is a big step forward for international Rugby League.”
Keith Hogg, the Chair of Scotland Rugby League, said: “Having the Great Britain team back is a boost for all of the home nations. We are proud of the contribution made by Scots to Great Britain Rugby League in the past, most obviously when Dave Valentine lifted the World Cup in 1954, and this announcement is a great incentive for young Scottish players to maintain that tradition in the future.”
Paul Chambers, General Manager of Wales Rugby League, said: “Wales Rugby League fully embrace and support the first Great Britain Rugby League tour to the Southern Hemisphere for many years. The whole concept of the Rugby League Lions adds another dimension to the ambitions of players and staff involved with all Home Nations and Wales Rugby League are looking forward to promoting and being involved in the process.”
Salford Red Devils are delighted to confirm that U19s player Dan Goddard has been selected to represent Ireland U19s in the upcoming U19 European Championships in Serbia.
Goddard is the third Salford Red Devils U19 player now headed to Belgrade alongside Welsh duo William Mills and Matthew Jones who were named last week. Read more about that here.
Player Performance Manager Danny Barton said: “Obviously, we’re thrilled for Dan following his inclusion in the Ireland squad.
“Dan is a really good player who has had a terrific season. His work ethic and attitude are second to none and that has been rewarded with his selection.
“It’s great to have three players headed to the U19 European Championships in August and I think it just demonstrates the quality of young lads we have here at Salford Red Devils.”
The full squad is as follows:
Luke Findlow (Ince Rose Bridge), Ryan Curran (Athy Sharks), Conor Smyth (Athy Sharks), James Cromie (Belfast Stags), Zack Fellows (Midland Hurricanes), Josh Basthill (Belfast Met Scholars), Fiach Millward (Athy Sharks), Paul McGookin (Belfast Stags), Sam Cullen (Athy Sharks), Ronan Michael (Longhorns RL), Callum O’Neill (Widnes Vikings), Joe Togher (Hindley), Charlie Donnelly (Dublin City Exiles), Josh MacNamee (Longhorns RL), Shalun Carey (Longhorns RL), John Why (Galway Tribesmen), Jordan McKibbin (Portadown Pumas), Kevin Varga (Longhorns RL), Andrew Smyth (Belfast Met Scholars), James Mulvaney (Longhorns RL), Sam O’Sullivan (Galway Tribesmen), Gareth Gardiner (Belfast Met Scholars), Dan Goddard (Salford Red Devils).
Salford Red Devils players Cian Rhys and Luis Roberts named in the Wales U16 29-man training squad with the hopes of featuring against England in September.
Both Cian Rhys and Luis Roberts had successful seasons with the Red Devils U16’s sides last season and Player Performance Manager Danny Barton wasn’t surprised by their inclusion.
Barton said: “We’re delighted that both Cian and Luis have been selected for the Wales U16’s training squad, they’ve both been terrific this season.
“Cian is a versatile player who occupied a number of roles very successfully throughout last season while Luis is a dangerous centre with an eye for the try-line.
“We are hoping that both will feature against England later in the year and experience international rugby league.”
The full squad is follows:
Benjamin Harris (Aber Valley Wolves), Shaun Webber (Cardiff Blue Dragons), Jac Lloyd, Immanuel Feyi-Aboso, David Yulu-Nzamba, George Sheppard (West Wales Raiders), Cian Rhys (Burtonwood Bulldogs/Salford Red Devils), Brynmor Bradley (London Broncos), Ewan Challenger (Cardiff Blue Dragons/West Wales Raiders), Ewan Badham, (Llanelli Knights/City of Hull), Ieaun Badham (Llanelli Knights/City of Hull), Morgan Jones, Harvey McDaid (Halton Farnworth Hornets/St Helens), Keenan McDaid (Halton Farnworth Hornets/St Helens), Lewis Gough, Cameron Samuel, Callum Penn (Torfaen Tigers), William Oates (Aber Valley Wolves), Luis Roberts (Hindley ARLFC/Salford Red Devils), Reilly Scriven (Torfaen Tigers), Kyle Huish (Aber Valley Wolves/Wigan Warriors), Jacob Lee (Aber Valley Wolves/Wigan Warriors), Ieuan Hancock (Torfaen Tigers), Joshua Atkinson (Wigan Warriors), Gwilym Evans, Iwan Johnes, Iwan Pyrs-Jones (Wigan Warriors), Trystan Rawlings (West Wales Raiders), Kieran Lewis.
The Tigers are in Town, but we’ll roar louder!
Tickets for our next home game against Castleford Tigers on Friday 13th July are available to purchase at the Club Ticket Office, over the phone or online here.
Last night Salford Red Devils legend and all-time top points scorer David Watkins MBE received the Special Recognition Award at the Wales Sports Awards 2017.
Phil Bennett, when presenting the award, said: “This gentleman is up there at the very top.”
Watkins featured for the Red Devils between 1967 and 1979 making over 400 appearances for the Club and racking up a staggering 2907 points while at The Willows.
The Welshman captained Salford in their last Challenge Cup final appearance against Castleford at Wembley in 1969 and also earned caps for both Wales and Great Britain. Watkins went on to finish his career with Swinton.
The Club legend was a star in both codes playing for Wales and the British and Irish Lions in Rugby Union after spells with several Welsh Rugby Union sides.
In the 1986 New Year Honours, Watkins was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to Rugby League.
Everyone at the Salford Red Devils would like to congratulate David Watkins on a most deserved award.
Salford Red Devils duo Craig Kopczak and Gavin Bennion featured in Wales’ final game of the 2017 Rugby League World Cup as they fell to a 6-34 defeat at the hands of Ireland.
Bennion, who joined the Red Devils last month, made his debut for the Welsh national side while Kopczak again captained John Kear’s side.
However, Wales suffered their third defeat of the tournament with Api Pewhairangi, Joe Philbin, Liam Finn and Liam Kay all crossing alongside an Oliver Roberts double for the Irish. Ben Morris scored Wales’ only try.
Salford Red Devils forward Tyrone McCarthy didn’t feature for Mark Aston’s men who unfortunately exit the tournament despite winning two of their three group games.
Manu Vatuvei didn’t feature for Tonga in their memorable 22-28 victory over New Zealand but could be in the running for a place in their quarter-final clash with Lebanon on Saturday 18th November in Christchurch.
Remember you can see all four of the Salford Red Devils World Cup representatives in action in 2018 by purchasing your Season Ticket. A full list of prices can be found here while a Direct Debit breakdown of each ticket can be seen here. Visit the Club Ticket Office, phone 0161 786 1570 or purchase online here. Direct Debit isn’t available online.
Wales captain and Salford Red Devil Craig Kopczak is named in Wales starting 13 ahead of their final group game against Ireland.
New arrival Gavin Bennion is on the interchange bench for John Kear’s side while Tyrone McCarthy is named in Ireland’s 21-man squad but not in the starting line-up.
Manu Vatuvei misses out on a place in Tonga’s starting 17 but is named amongst the 21-man squad for their massive game against New Zealand. Vatuvei won the Rugby League World Cup with the Kiwis in 2008 and the game will also have massive significance for Jason Taumalolo who made a switch of allegiance ahead of the competition.
Tonga take on New Zealand on Saturday 11th November and the game will be shown live on Premier Sports at 04:00am while Wales against Ireland can be seen at 07:30am on Sunday 12th November.
Four Salford Red Devils have been named in their respective countries squads for the second round of fixtures at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup.
Craig Kopczak will once again captain Wales as they face Fiji in Townsville. Salford new-boy Gavin Bennion is also named in John Kear’s 21-man squad after linking up with the team this past week.
Manu Vatuvei has been named in Tonga’s 21-man squad as they look to make it two wins from two on Saturday against Samoa.
After impressing in Ireland’s victory over Italy last weekend Tyrone McCarthy is again named in Mark Aston’s squad as the Irish get ready to do battle with Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Remember if you want to watch the Red Devils World Cup stars next season you can secure your 2018 Season Ticket at the best price and via Direct Debit before the 3rd November. Direct Debit can be set up by ringing 0161 786 1570 or visiting the Club Ticket Office. 2018 Season Tickets can also be purchased online here.
Salford’s Manu Vatuvei and Tyrone McCarthy both featured in respective victories for their countries on matchday one of the Rugby League World Cup.
Vatuvei, who has previously won the tournament with New Zealand, was named at full-back for Tonga in a comfortable 50-4 victory over Scotland.
Micheal Jennings was the Man of the Match crossing for a hat-trick of tries alongside scores from Jason Taumalolo, Sika Manu, Daniel Tupou and Peni Terepo. Danny Addy got the Bravehearts on the scoresheet but Steve McCormack’s side couldn’t handle the powerful Tongans.
McCarthy came off the interchange bench in Ireland’s surprise win over Italy in Cairns on Sunday morning. Toronto winger Liam Kay scored twice out wide either side of a George King effort. Saints duo Kyle Amor and Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook both crossed as well as Michael Morgan in the second half.
Justin Castellaro scored a 70-metre interception try for the Italians before Nathan Milone went over but the Azzurri couldn’t stir a comeback.
Ireland travel to Port Moresby to face a Papua New Guinea side full of confidence following their hammering of Wales while Italy face the USA.
Craig Kopczak’s Welsh side fell to a heavy 50-6 defeat in their 2017 Rugby League World Cup opener against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby.
Kopczak captained a Wales side featuring several Super League players including impressive young St Helens duo Morgan Knowles and Regan Grace however the Kumuls boasting Paul Aiton, James Segeyaro and Castleford’s new signing Garry Lo were just too strong.
Brisbane Broncos’ David Mead was a thorn in Wales side all afternoon and the full-back crossed for two tries early on to put the hosts in control. The Kumuls went into half-time with a 26-0 lead after Nene MacDonald, Kato Ottio and Willie Minoga all crossed before the interval.
Papua New Guinea continued their dominance after the break as Rhyse Martin scored just three minutes after the break and followed it up with a second midway through the half. Justin Olam latched onto a low kick to extend the hosts lead before Mead notched his hat-trick.
The Kumuls hit the half-century as Martin converted a Paul Aiton try but Wales did get themselves on the scoresheet with the final play of the game as Regan Grace planted the ball down following a clever kick over the top from Matt Seamark.
Wales will face Fiji next Sunday in Townsville while Papua New Guinea host Tyrone McCarthy’s Ireland in Port Moresby next weekend.
PNG: Mead, Olam, Ottio, MacDonald, Lo; A. Boas, W. Boas; Albert, Puara, Page, Martin, Griffin, Aiton. Interchanges: Baptiste, Minoga, Segeyaro, Maki.
Wales: Kear, Williams, Channing, Gay, Grace; Davies, Seamark; Kopczak, Parry, Joseph, Lloyd, Morris, Knowles. Interchanges: Fozard, Hopkins, Evans, Butler.