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Wales unveil 23-man squad for Rugby League World Cup

Former British and Irish Lions forward Andy Powell has been left out of Wales' squad for the Rugby League World Cup because of injury.

Powell, 32, has made five Super League appearances for Wigan since switching codes in June but the club has pulled him out because he needs to undergo surgery on his neck.

Powell admitted his disappointment at missing the tournament. He wrote on Twitter: "Gutting too miss the World Cup would have been a great experience. But as everybody knows injuries come at funny times.

"Will hopefully get a op this week on my neck. Can't wait to get a long rest, been the longest season ever 18 months non-stop."

Wales are also denied the services of Castleford's former London Broncos centre Michael Channing and Sydney Roosters forward Tyson Frizell but Warrington centre Rhys Evans is included after he switched allegiance from England.

Evans, 20, was a Wales junior international, and he is joined in the squad by twin brother Ben. Rhys is one of 14 Super League players in Iestyn Harris' 23-man squad.

Eight of them were born in Wales and came through the WRL development system.


The other uncapped players are forwards Anthony Walker (St Helens) and Larne Patrick (Huddersfield), who qualifies through a Welsh grandmother, and James Geurtjens, from Queensland Cup side Norths Devils.

Wales' opening game is against Italy at the Millennium Stadium on October 26.

This is Wales' fourth World Cup and Harris said: "While I welcome our four new quality players to the squad, I'm really pleased that we're maintaining consistency and we don't have a whole team of newcomers.

"We have a lot of experience in the side with 14 Super League players - the most I've ever known in the squad - and all of our players are improving year on year as they continue their international career.

"We have an enthusiastic 23-man squad, all of whom are raring to go for their country. We can't wait for the tournament to start and, as always, aim to cause a few shocks."

Wales have put Andy Bracek (Halifax), Joe Burke (South Wales) and Craig Moss (Keighley) on stand-by, and they will play in a warm-up match against a Welsh Rugby League Select XIII on Tuesday, October 15 at Eirias Park in Colwyn Bay.

Wales squad: Neil Budworth (Moranbah Miners, Australia), Ross Divorty (Halifax), Gil Dudson, Ben Flower, Rhodri Lloyd (all Wigan), Jake Emmitt, Jordan James (both Salford), Ben Evans, Elliot Kear (both Bradford), Rhys Evans, Rhys Williams (both Warrington), Dan Fleming (Castleford), James Geurtjens (Norths Devils, Australia), Danny Jones (Keighley), Craig Kopczak, Larne Patrick (both Huddersfield), Peter Lupton (Workington), Rob Massam, Christiaan Roets (both North Wales), Matt Seamark (Wynnum Manly Seagulls, Australia), Anthony Walker (St Helens), Ian Webster (Central Queensland Capras, Australia), Lloyd White (Widnes).
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