East Wales and North Wales face off at Glyncoch Sports and Social, home of Rhondda Outlaws, this Saturday at 2.30pm to decide who will be crowned Wales Origin Champions 2022.
North Wales opened the series in an exhilarating fashion a fortnight ago by beating West Wales 62-18 in Bangor. Then last Sunday, West bounced back with a 24-18 win over East Wales, but their negative points difference means they can’t win the title.
So it’s up to East Wales to win by 26 points or more. Anything else will see North Wales clinch the title for the first time.
East have beaten North on the last two series which gave them the title each time, and coach Rob Davies knows there’s a lot at stake this Saturday.
He said: “There are plenty of changes from last week, so there’s a chance for people to put their hand up for Wales Dragonhearts honours later this year.
“It is great to see the Origin and Dragonhearts programmes back after a two-year hiatus. I know the players welcome it and everyone will be trying to impress this Saturday.”
East Wales have brought in Dan Matthews, Scott Ashford, Mike Roberts, Diezel Jones and Nathan Tucker for their Origin debuts with Darrel Moyle, Mike Bagnall, Rhodri Garland, Tom Hale and Mike Hurley returning after playing in previous seasons.
North Wales could potentially field eight Origin debutants on Saturday with Cameron Long, Edward Thompson, Iestyn Milburn, Jake Spedding, James Jackson, Sam Chaloner, Sean Rodden and Jake Redmond all not playing in the first game. Milburn and Rodden did however turn out for West Wales last time around.
North Wales coach Si Reynolds said: “We’re really looking forward to the game. Last week’s mini training camp was productive with four new faces in the 21-man squad.
“All of the players know what’s at stake and if they bring the best version of themselves on Saturday, then no matter what the result is they have given the series their all.
“Everything we have done this year as a group comes to fruition this weekend and I would just like to thank everyone that has been a part of it.”
Nathan Tucker (Cardiff Blue Dragons)
Luke Abbott (Cardiff Blue Dragons)
Rhodri Garland (Rhondda Outlaws)
Brandon Lamb (Bristol All Golds)
Rhys Hawkins (Rhondda Outlaws)
Mike Hurley (Torfaen Tigers)
Chris Harris (Rhondda Outlaws)
Lee Griffiths (Rhondda Outlaws)
Diezel Jones (Torfaen Tigers)
Myran Truare (Rhondda Outlaws)
Mike Bagnall (Torfaen Tigers)
Ieuan Griffiths (Rhondda Outlaws)
Shaun Watton (Rhondda Outlaws
Scott Ashford (Cardiff Blue Dragons)
Dan Matthews (Rhondda Outlaws)
Darrel Moyle (Torfaen Tigers)
Rob Davies (Torfaen Tigers)
Mike Roberts (Aber Valley Wolves)
Tom Hale (Rhondda Outlaws)
Alex Prince (Flintshire Falcons)
Alfie Matthias (Thatto Heath)
Andrew Mclorie (Thatto Heath)
Ben Stelmaszek (Thatto Heath)
Billy Forrester (Flintshire Falcons) Cameron Long (Flintshire Falcons)
Edward Thompson (Wigan St Patrick’s)
George O’Brien (Royal Engineers Rugby League)
Iestyn Milburn (Conwy Celts)
Jake Redmond (Criggleston All Blacks)
Jake Spedding (Ulverston ARLFC)
James Jackson (Flintshire Falcons) Jamie Fozard (West Bank)
Johnathan Stokes (Conwy Celts) Morgan Johnson (Leeds Beckett Uni)
Ryan Griffiths (Ince Rose Bridge)
Sam Chaloner (Flintshire Falcons)
Sean Rodden (Hindley ARLFC)
Simon Kalafusz (Mon Knights)
Sion Jones (Conwy Celts)
William Lynch (Leigh Miners Rangers)