- Team Name: The Dragons
- First Appearance: 1975
- RLWC2013 Group: Group D
- RLWC2013 Opponents: Cook Islands, USA
- Tournament best: Semi-final (most recently in 2000)
Ones to Watch: Lloyd White, Gil Dobson and Craig Kopczak.
Read more about these great players and why they are ones to watch during RLWC2013.
After being named Wales Player of the Year in 2011, White’s career has gone from strength to strength and he currently plays for Super League team, Widnes Vikings.
Internationally, White has represented Wales at International level since 2009 and is one to watch in the Rugby League World Cup 2013.
Prop super star, Gil Dudson is a regular player for Wales since his debut at Celtic Crusaders in 2008. Playing for Wigan, alongside fellow Welsh man Flowers, Dudson spent a lot of time out of play due to an injury last season but is fully fit and ready for a great year of Rugby.
Similar to White, his started his career in Rugby Union but since playing League, has never looked back. According to Wigan coach Shaun Wane, Dudson’s rugby performance is only going to get better.
Although born in England, Craig Kopczak plays for his country of heritage at International Level since debuting in 2007. He has enjoyed appearing for the Welsh side since and captained them during the Four Nations in 2011 where he was announced Wale’s player of the tournament.
The prop forward is a great player and has made over 120 super league appearances and many international shows, always performing well for his team.
Kopczak currently plays for Huddersfield Giants after starting his career started in 2006 debuting for fellow Super League team, Bradford Bulls.
A Bit of History
Wales boasts one of the longest standing teams in Rugby League history – as well as some of the sports greatest ever players.
In 1908 they defeated New Zealand’s famous ‘All Golds’ touring side in their first official international, though the story of Welsh Rugby League arguably goes back even further. 10 Welshmen featured in the Other Nationalities team that played England in 1904.
Wales’s track record in producing players of the highest calibre is second to none. Three Welshmen are honoured in the Rugby League Hall of Fame: Billy Boston, Wigan’s all-time record try scorer with a magnificent record of 478 tries in 488 games; Jim Sullivan, all-time record appearance and points scored for Wigan; and Gus Risman, who led minnows Workington Town to Challenge Cup glory in 1952 at the age of 41.
The Welsh team that competed in the 1995 World Cup included the mercurial Jonathan Davies and powerhouse Scott Gibbs, alongside the emerging talents of Iestyn Harris and Kieron Cunningham.
With an array of talent at their disposal, the Dragons managed to reach the semi-final stage in 1995 and repeated the feat at the 2000 World Cup, where they led the mighty Australians 20-8 in the second half before losing 46-22.
The 2008 qualifying campaign was less memorable, but with qualification for 2013 now assured coach Iestyn Harris will be hoping that his charges can once again put Welsh Rugby League on the map.