Jodie Boyd-Ward will create Wales Rugby League history on Saturday as she becomes the first ever female skipper of a predominantly male international side, when she co-captains Wales Wheelchair against Ireland at Glyndwr University in Wrexham on Saturday (kick-off 12.45pm).
The 29-year old, who helped Leeds Rhinos to the Super League and Challenge Cup double this year, will be winning her 31st international cap, but just her fourth for Wales, is joined in her co-captaincy by Harry Jones, with the 24-year old set to win his 32nd Welsh cap.
Wales head coach Stephen Jones has named a 10-player squad, with Boyd-Ward the only female in the side. Torfaen Tigers’ Lee Sargent is the only debutant in the side but Hereford Harriers’ Martin Lane returns to the Wales side for the first time since the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.
Wales will also take on Scotland at the same Wrexham venue on Saturday 30 October.
Stephen Jones said: “I’ve named two captains for both this, and the Scotland match later this month, as we are using games to trial players in roles that they wouldn’t normally fill, without putting too much pressure on a single person.
“Harry has acted as vice-captain and a short stint as captain in the past. I also wanted to see what Jodie could bring to the table especially with the knowledge and experience she brings to the game.
“After the disappointment of the World Cup being postponed and our less than stellar performance in the mid-season international against England, these games will allow us to press the reset button and come back stronger than before.
“With the new look Ireland and Scotland teams, these should be two hard-fought games which the squads are really looking forward to and all the players will be looking to make their mark on the games ahead of the rearranged World Cup in 2022.”
Spectators are welcome and admission is free of charge. All fans will be required to complete a register and temperature check before entry. Covid rules in Wales are different to England so please be aware that everyone MUST wear a mask or face shield at all times.
WALES – Alan Caron, Andrew Higgins, Martin Lane, Jamie Reynolds, Jason Reynolds (all Hereford Harriers), Jodie Boyd-Ward (Leeds Rhinos), Harry Jones, Scott Trigg-Turner, Mark Williams (North Wales Crusaders), Lee Sargent (Torfaen Tigers)