Wales squad named for Toronto trip

Wales Masters have announced a squad that will play a ground-breaking festival in Toronto on July 2.

It will only be the second time that a Wales Rugby League international side has been to North America. The first and only other time was a famous two weeks in Philadelphia for the Wales men’s side in 1995 when they faced and beat USA twice. South Wales Scorpions Reserves also made a trip to Toronto in 2016.

This one-day Masters event will be held at Fletcher’s Fields in Markham, which is where Toronto Wolfpack faced Swinton Lions in 2018, and will see international sides from Australia and England taking part, in addition to the hosts Canada Grizzlies and Wales.

Masters Rugby League is played by people aged 35 and over with the rules being slightly modified to cater for the older player. Historically, there have been no winners, no champions, and no cup finals and every match ends with a 0-0 scoreline, no matter how many tries are scored – Masters is all about the spirit of the game. The most important rule is: “everyone has to buy a drink for their opposite number!”

Fifteen Welsh players are making the self-funded trip with four set to wear a Wales shirt for the first time – Alun Griffiths of Swindon St George, Mike Hughes of Crosfields, and Lee Iles and Lee Roberts of Cardiff Blue Dragons.

Chris Thomas of Cardiff Blue Dragons is managing the trip as well as playing. He said: “Canada have been over to England for the last couple of years, so we all thought it was time to return the favour.

“The festival itself is a one-day event but we’re going out for a week, leaving on the Thursday. We then play a training game against the local Masters RL side, Grey Beards at Brampton Beavers Rugby Club in the western suburbs of Toronto. Then on Sunday at Fletcher’s Fields it’s the main event.

“We’re all looking forward to it. It’s a first for Wales Masters travelling out of Great Britain. We’re ambitious as we plan to go to Australia in a few years – that’s the plan.”

Wales have also released squads for the “Capital Series” – home and away matches against Ireland – with the home leg taking place in Cardiff on August 12 and the away game in Dublin on September 16. They are almost completely different squads for each of these games, ensuring that plenty of Welsh players will win a cap this year.

Players are only considered for international selection if they play regular Masters Rugby League, so if you want to play, please send an email to stating your location for more information on your local club.

More at Masters Rugby League at


Toronto – Craig Field, Russ Gardner, Lee Iles, Julian McTavish, Andrew Palfrey, Lee Roberts, Chris Thomas, David Turner, Martyn Williams (all Cardiff Blue Dragons), Mark Andrew Jones (Chester Gladiators), Mike Hughes (Crosfields), Dafydd Curry, Rob Gray-Williams, Seth Pierce (all North Wales Buccaneers), Alun Griffiths (Swindon St George).

Cardiff – Wayne Bridges, Gareth Moyle (both Blackpool), Kyle Blake, David Castle, Idris Evans, Russell Gardner, Julian McTavish, Lee Roberts, Chris Stiles, Chris Thomas, Ryan Thomas (all Cardiff Blue Dragons), Andy Rees (Chester Gladiators), Dave Morton (Leyland Warriors), Dafydd Curry, Robert Gray-Williams, Chris Rich, David Ward, Dean Wilson (all North Wales Buccaneers).

Dublin – Gareth Evans (Arlecdon Rams), Kyle Blake, David Castle, Craig Field, Nick Harkin, Alfred Harvey, Jamie Iles, David Turner (all Cardiff Blue Dragons), Mark Andrew Jones (Chester Gladiators), Mike Hughes (Crosfields), Simon Allen, David Burns, Dafydd Curry, John Evans, Rhys Evans, Seth Pierce, Ryan Roberts, Dylan Williams, Lee Woodworth (all North Wales Buccaneers).