Wales Dragonhearts will be taking a 28-man travelling squad to face Ireland ‘A’ at Morton Stadium in Dublin on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm).
The squad will train in North Wales on Friday before heading to Ireland for Saturday’s match, the first between the two sides at this level in over nine years. The side itself will then be selected and announced on Saturday morning.
Aberavon’s Dai Felton, 38, will hope to play for the Welsh community representative side for a second time, over 18 years after the first. As a 20-year old, he turned against Lebanon Espoirs at the Brewery Field in Bridgend in 2005, a match played on the evening before the Challenge Cup Final between Hull and Leeds in Cardiff.
It’s a big month for the Dragonhearts. Next Saturday (14th) they face England Lions at Ruskin Drive, St Helens before taking on the same England side at Ynys Park in Port Talbot on Saturday 28 October.
Dragonhearts’ head coach Simon Reynolds said: “After a tough few weeks planning, selecting, and everything else in between, it’s finally time to get down to some rugby.
“The selected players have been brilliant, everything I have asked of them, they have given and more.
“Special thanks goes out to all of the team and player sponsors, without them, none of this would be possible.
“Last week we had a training camp and the intensity was far greater than I expected. We go into this weekend’s fixture looking to have a real go but make some memories along the way.
“We are together for three weekends out of the four in October. For some lads it is their first taste of international rugby and some life-long friendships are going to be made along the way.”
Dragonhearts squad: Lloyd Allen*, Dai Felton, Lewis Francis*, Tyler Hopkins*, Aaron Lewis, Dylan McLachlan*, Conor O’Callagan*, Jake Price, Scott Whitlock*, Iestyn Williams* (all Aberavon Fighting Irish/West Wales), Corey Harris, Ben Jackson*, Lloyd Pritchard*, Dylan Rees-Davies* (all Bridgend Blue Bulls/West Wales), Brandon Lamb (Bristol All Golds/North Wales), Sion Jones*, Jonny Stokes, Kieran Thomas* (all Conwy Celts/North Wales), Lewys Blayney*, Alex Burton (both Cynon Valley Cavaliers/West Wales), Alfie Matthias (Flintshire Falcons/North Wales), Rhodri Garland, Jack Griffiths*, Chris Harris (all Rhondda Outlaws/West Wales), Craig Lewis (South Wales Jets), Kurtis Haile, Nathan Tucker (both Torfaen Tigers/East Wales), Jake Spedding* (Ulverston/North Wales)
*- potential new caps