Steve Parry and Courtney Davies have both been named in Wales’ 24-man squad for the upcoming World Cup in Australia.
Parry’s inclusion comes on the back of another stellar season for the Golden Fern. He was one of only two ever-presents this year, scoring 23 tries and winning Coaches’ Player of the Year and the club’s Man of Steel awards. He also impressed during Wales’ World Cup Qualifying campaign last Autumn, playing a key part in their victories over Serbia and Italy. Parry will most likely rotate at hooker with Sheffield’s Matty Fozard, after Widnes’ Lloyd White was ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Davies re-joined the All Golds mid-season, after a stint with South Wales Ironmen. Before that he spent two years with us, making 23 appearances and scoring 8 tries. His 2017 League 1 season ended in disappointment after a broken wrist kept him out of our final six games, however, he’s since recovered from the injury and will be looking to make an impression down under. It’s likely Davies will be John Kear’s first choice halfback, and will be partnered with either Matt Seamark or rookie Josh Ralph.
All Golds general manager Patrick Evans, originally from Burry Port in South West Wales, paid tribute to both players. He said: “On behalf of the club I would like to congratulate both Steve Parry & Courtney Davies on their selection. I have known Steve a long time and it’s great to see him get the chance to wear our country’s badge again, he is a great leader and one of the most determined players I have ever come across. He has put in a lot of hard work to get a seat on that plane and has been justifiably rewarded after another fine season for us. He will no doubt find his way over the line for a try at some point during the tournament.”
“It’s been a roller coaster of a season for Courtney Davies, what with a couple of injuries and going through the issues at the Ironmen earlier in the year. When he came back to us half way through the season he put in some good performances but his bad luck wasn’t over and missed the last 8 games with a broken wrist. I am glad that John (Kear) has put his trust in Courtney’s abilities even though he missed the back end of the season. He is a very skillful player and was a standout performer for Wales in the qualifying games.”
Wales’ squad contains just three uncapped players. Chester Butler and Gavin Bennion come in despite not being named in the initial 38-man training squad, while young halfback Ralph is the only other.
They open their World Cup campaign against Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on Saturday, October 28, before travelling to Townsville, North Queensland to face Fiji on Sunday, November 5. They will then play their final group match against Ireland in Perth on Sunday, November 12.
Wales 24-Man World Cup Squad: Steve Parry, Courtney Davies (both Gloucestershire All Golds), Chester Butler (Halifax RLFC), Sam Hopkins (Leigh Centurions), Michael Channing, Ben Evans, Dalton Grant, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (all London Broncos), Joe Burke (Oldham Roughyeds), Matty Barron (Newcastle Thunder), Craig Kopczak (Salford Red Devils), Matty Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), Andrew Gay, Christiaan Roets (both South Wales Ironmen), Danny Ansell (Hunslet Hawks), Regan Grace, Morgan Knowles, Ben Morris (all St Helens), Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Gavin Bennion (Rochdale Hornets), Josh Ralph (Tweed Heads Seagulls), Phil Joseph (Workington Town), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls)