You don't miss wife you never had - Wales boss Kear on World Cup absentees

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St Helens wing Regan Grace reflects on a breakthrough season and Wales' World Cup campaign
Rugby League World Cup on the BBC
Venues: Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea
Dates: 27 October to 2 December
Coverage: Watch live coverage and highlights on BBC TV, Connected TV, online & the BBC Sport app and listen to live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live.

Wales coach John Kear has shrugged off being without some of the nation's leading players for the World Cup - saying "if you've never been married, you don't miss your wife".

Wales are without leading Super League players Ben Flower, Rhys Evans, Gil Dudson and Lloyd White.

Flower and Evans have not played for Wales under Kear, who has also coached England and France.

The other two players have not been regulars since he took over in 2014.

"They are all great players but I've been in charge for 10 games and we've only had Gil and Lloyd for three of them - I haven't had Ben or Rhys at all," Kear added.

"As much as we'd welcome them in, you don't miss what you've never had."

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Wales coach John Kear excited for Rugby League World Cup

Flower has an Achilles problem, Evans a damaged shoulder, Dudson is unavailable and White has a hamstring injury.

Wales' tournament begins against Papua New Guinea on Saturday, 28 October with games against Fiji and Ireland to follow in Pool A.

Kear is happy with the make-up of his squad, as Wales look to claim their first World Cup win since 2000.

Wales in Pool A at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup
Papua New Guinea v Wales: Sat, 28 Oct, 06:00 BST
Fiji v Wales: Sun, 5 Nov: 09:30 GMT
Wales v Ireland: Sun, 12 Nov, 08:30 GMT

"I'm delighted with what we've got," said the coach.

"I'm more delighted with the togetherness, the unity and the spirit within the squad.

"I always feel that is more important than flash individuals. The team will always win a team sport."

Other Welsh absentees are Jake Emmitt (elbow), Ollie Olds (knee), Calvin Wellington (hamstring) and Daniel Brown (knee), while Larne Patrick and Dan Fleming are also unavailable.

The tournament kicks off with Australia hosting England on Friday, 27 October in Melbourne (10:00 BST).

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