Rugby League World Cup: One change in Wales squad to face Ireland

Christiaan Roets runs into heavy Fijian defence
Wales conceded 14 tries in their defeat by Fiji
Rugby League World Cup Group C: Wales v Ireland
Venue: Perth Rectangular Stadium Date: Sunday, 12 November Kick-off: 07:30 GMT
Coverage: Follow text updates on the BBC Sport website and app. Watch highlights on BBC Two, online & the BBC Sport app from 23:20-00:20 GMT.

Wales head coach John Kear has made one change to his 21-man squad for their final Rugby League World Cup match against Ireland in Perth on Sunday.

Matt Seamark replaces Josh Ralph after recovering from injury while Gavin Bennion could make his Wales debut.

All 17 of the players who featured in the World Cup record 72-6 defeat by Fiji last weekend have been retained.

'It's winnable, but I'm not sure confidence in our group is high," said coach John Kear.

Wales will again be underdogs after two defeats so far in the tournament, and have not won a World Cup game since 2000.

Kear's team lost their opening game of this tournament 50-6 against co-hosts Papua New Guinea in a sweltering Port Moresby.

By contrast, Ireland have beaten Italy 36-12, pushed PNG hard in a 14-6 defeat and have 15 Super League players in their ranks compared with Wales' four.

Wales coach John Kear on sharks, surfing and beating Ireland.

The Irish have to beat Wales and rely on an unlikely USA win over PNG earlier on Sunday to progress to the quarter-finals.

Kear is concerned the manner of Wales' losses will impact on his team's confidence.

"When it's 50 then 70, you're lacking and it can affect your psyche," he added.

"We're in this together and we're united. We need to focus on one last massive effort."

Wales squad: Danny Ansell, Matty Barron, Gavin Bennion, Joe Burke, Michael Channing, Courtney Davies, Ben Evans, Matty Fozard, Andy Gay, Regan Grace, Dalton Grant, Phil Joseph, Elliot Kear, Morgan Knowles, Craig Kopczak, Rhodri Lloyd, Ben Morris, Steve Parry, Christiaan Roets, Matty Seamark, Rhys Williams.

You can follow the fortunes of your favourite team with live match notifications sent straight to your phone or tablet via the BBC Sport app. Line-up, kick-off, score, half-time and full-time options are available for all teams participating at the World Cup.


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