Wales Rugby League to return to America

Wales Wheelchair Rugby League head coach Alan Caron has released a 12-player train-on squad for the two matches in the USA next February.

They will be the first world-ranking games that Wales Rugby League has ever played in the Americas, the first time that the Wales Wheelchair side has ever played outside of Britain and France, the first Wheelchair international matches to ever be played in the Americas and the first two international rugby league matches planned anywhere in the world in 2024.

The squad, which will be reduced to 10 players by the end of the year, contains 10 of the 12 players who were in last year’s World Cup squad. The two missing are Caron, who has since stepped up to head coach, and former captain Mark Williams, who is unavailable. Torfaen Tigers’ Alex Powell, who made his Wales debut earlier this year, is in contention for the trip, as is Phillip Davies of Hereford Harriers who last played for Wales in 2019.

Wales Wheelchair, who are a community-run side, now have the task of raising their air-fares to get to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, which is where the matches will be played on February 2 and 3, as the main event at the inaugural “The Beers of America – Craft Beer & Adaptive Sports Festival” in conjunction with Visit Myrtle Beach Tourism. Please donate to the Welsh cause now by going to https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/walestouroftheusa.

Wales head coach Alan Caron said: “We’re delighted that this trip is now a reality. The flights are booked, visas obtained and we can’t wait to go.

“This will be an experience of a lifetime for our squad. Playing outside of Europe is a first for us, it’ll only be the fifth country we’ve visited in over 50 games, and we’re proud to represent Wales on such a historic tour.

“Without sponsorship though, we will have to pay for our own flights, as players, staff, even the referees, so please, if you can donate something towards our cause, go to our Crowdfunder page now.”

Wales Wheelchair Train-On Squad: Jodie Boyd-Ward (Leeds Rhinos), Scott Trigg-Turner (London Roosters), Phillip Davies, Andrew Higgins, Gary Preece (all Hereford Harriers), Mason Baker, Stephen Halsey, Harry Jones, Lucie Roberts, Stuart Williams (all North Wales Crusaders), Alex Powell (Torfaen Tigers), Martin Lane (Wigan Warriors/Hereford Harriers).

Travelling Staff: Alan Caron (Head Coach), Gary Taylor (Assistant Coach), Stephen Jones (Team Manager), Alana Sargent (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Ian Golden (Media Manager), Kim Abel (Referee), Sean Blenkinsop (Referee).

For sponsorship opportunities, please email andy.morgan@walesrugbyleague.co.uk