Departing South Wales Scorpions’ coach Anthony Seibold is delighted at that so many of his players from the Scorpions 2010 squad have made it into the Wales side this year.
The Welsh national side are playing their first ever international match at The Gnoll in Neath, the home of the Scorpions, on Sunday when they take on Ireland in a crucial Alitalia European Cup match (kick-off 2pm).
A win for Wales will potentially set up a winner takes all clash with France in Albi on Saturday 23rd October with the victors qualifying for the 2011 Four Nations to take on England, Australia and New Zealand.
In the two Wales matches so far, a total of nine registered 2010 Scorpions players won caps while a further six, who appeared for Scorpions under the dual registration rule, have also turned out.
Seibold who has been responsible for introducing a lot of these players to professional rugby league at both Scorpions and Crusaders, is leaving Wales following the European Cup to return to Australia. However he is happy that the Welsh player development system, that he helped to set up, is working and looks good for the future.
“The whole idea of having South Wales Scorpions was to develop players at professional level and more importantly at international level,” said Seibold. “It’s pleasing that the system is working.”
“Last Wednesday, seven 2010 Scorpions registered players turned out against an experienced Italy side and most of them were under 20 years of age. For them to get a chance to play against a very good international side with a lot of Australian-based players was a great experience and they can only learn from that.
“On Sunday, Aled James and Christiaan Roets from the Scorpions were two of our strongest performers in the win over Scotland and the players who are dual registered with us and Crusaders all played very well too with Elliot Kear scoring a hat-trick of tries.
“All this shows that the Scorpions are doing their job. Last Sunday, there were eight players from Crusaders or Scorpions in the Wales side and a further five had played for Welsh club sides in the past which is a fantastic statistic.
“The game against Ireland on Sunday at The Gnoll will be a tough but an exciting one but the good thing about our Wales side now is that we have these Welsh developed players who know each other and are passionate about the side.”
Advance tickets for Wales’ only home game in the tournament against Ireland at The Gnoll in Neath on Sunday 17th October (kick-off 2pm) priced £4 for juniors and £8 for adults can be bought by going to www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk. These prices will go up on the day to £5 and £10 respectively so please buy in advance, with no booking fee, to reap the savings.