Former Great Britain coach Brian Noble says the Wales rugby league team needs help after its early exit from the 2013 World Cup.
Iestyn Harris's side was knocked out in the pool stages after their 24-16 defeat by the United States in Wrexham.
"We need to help the Welsh team and encourage more Welsh people from the north and the south to play our game," said Noble.
Wales face the Cook Islands in their final group game in Neath on Sunday.
Noble coached the Wales-based Celtic Crusaders in 2010 before they lost their Super League status.
He said experience underlined to him there was enough untapped talent in the country to sustain an international team.
"I was in south Wales and in north Wales with the Crusaders and there is plenty of time, space, effort and players who are skilled to play both games.
"I do know Wales has unbelievable athletes that can be fantastic in rugby league as well as rugby union.
"I have just been disappointed for the Welsh, but this has been a pretty encouraging World Cup - 14 teams have rocked up and put on a show."
He admits he has some sympathy for his former assistant Harris and his plight with Wales.
Coach Harris expressed his frustration at Wales' failure to make the knockout stages of the tournament.
"The teams they [Wales] have rocked up against have been pretty good," said Noble.
"Who would have said Italy would have been as good as they are and certainly the USA at the weekend?
"I think we have been caught by surprise and Iestyn, before the World Cup, would have been pretty confident of making the quarter-finals.
"Wales have not been as fluent as Iestyn would have liked and a lot of the errors in the things they have done have cost them dearly."