Date: 24/8/16

Wales Rugby League are introducing a Presidents XIII international side that will fill the gap between the Dragonhearts and the full international side.

The side will be made up of both community and semi-professional players with all players welcome to trial and train, there being no limit on the amount of players per club.

Their first match will be against the newly formed West of England Lionhearts on Sunday 25thSeptember at Blackwood RFC.

WRL have appointed Paul Emanuelli to coach the side. The Scorpions half-back has previously coached Wales under 18s and is delighted to step up and coach a senior international outfit.

“This is a fantastic new initiative from Wales Rugby League,” he said. “It’s not only being run as a representative side but we’ll actively promote all forms of Rugby League in Wales as kit-wise, it’s being run a bit like rugby union’s Barbarians.

“We wanted to mix it up a bit, so the side will wear full Welsh warm up gear and a full playing shirt, but during the game they’ll wear their club’s shorts and socks.

“It’ll be great to have Welsh born players from clubs like South Wales Scorpions, North Wales Crusaders, Bridgend Blue Bulls, West Wales Raiders, Valley Cougars and the like, running out together and joining forces to promote the game and represent their country.

“I’m really excited by this one off unique fixture, looking forward to coaching senior players again, and I’d like to thank Will Brewer from West of England Lionhearts for arranging the fixture.

“I’d also like to thank Dafydd Hellard from Valley Cougars and Gareth Howells from Bridgend Blue Bulls for agreeing to be assistant coaches.”

An open trial and training morning is being held on Sunday 4th September at Caerphilly RFC from 9-12am. The players will then have lunch before watching South Wales Scorpions v Hemel Stags in the afternoon.

The squad will then be cut to 25-30 players and the second session is either Sunday 17th September or Monday 18th September, dependent on whether Valley Cougars, West Wales Raiders or Torfaen Tigers

The West of England Lionhearts are also playing the South Wales Scorpions Development side on Saturday 3rd September in Bath and a number of players could feature in both Welsh line-ups.

West of England team manager Will Brewer said: “We’re looking forward to the two challenges against South Wales Scorpions and Wales Presidents. We have selected a 38 man squad from all 10 teams in the West of England League. Glen Tyreman from Southampton is heading up the coaching team with myself as team manager. We are excited and can’t wait for challenges ahead.”