Local Name: Cymru
Team Name: The Dragons
Colours: Red, White and Green
First WC Appearance: 1975
No. Of RLWC Titles: 0
Governing Body: Wales Rugby League
Wales Rugby League Test Match Previews and Score Predictions
Wales have one of the longest and proudest histories in International Rugby League but when it comes to major tournaments the country have often underperformed.
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Wales Rugby League
In 1908 Wales defeated the iconic New Zealand ‘All Golds’ in their first ever international match although in 1904 10 Welshmen featured in an ‘other nationalities’ match against England.
That production line has continued with many of the stars to have played for Great Britain and in more recent times, as Wales have become a standalone team once again, that talent is sure to be a boost for the Dragons.
Over the past decade the number of Welsh players playing in the Super League has continued to rise and with 2 professional teams now in Wales, there is a clear and straightforward pathway for amateur Rugby League players to make it in the game.
Since making their first appearance at the 1973 World Cup, Wales have been part of some of the most famous moments in the competition with the 1995 team nearly beating the Australians in the semi-final.
Welsh National Rugby League Team
As one of the most historical Rugby League playing nations and one of the most successful sides in Europe, it is no surprise that the Welsh national Rugby League team have had their ups and downs over the years and they have also been impacted by losing players to the Great Britain set up but thankfully, despite all of that, they have continued to enjoy lots of success.
Colours and Kit
As you would expect from a national team representative the Principality of Wales, the Welsh national Rugby Leagues kit is predominately red and whilst sometimes it is solely red, it does also sometimes features touches of white and/or green.
Wales have enjoyed lots of success down the year sin local competitions including winning the European Championship on multiple occasions starting all of the way back to the 1935-36 edition.
They have also made it through numerous qualification processes for the Rugby League World Cup where they have gone onto excel and made it through to the semi-final stag eon 2 occasions in 1995 and 2000.
Even though Wales have such a long history of playing the sport, they have struggled to consistently have professional teams based domestically which has seen them struggle for consistency when it comes to the national team and in producing players, the fact that they are based so close to the sports northern hemisphere heartlands and many clubs across the border in England developed Welsh born talent coupled with their differing levels of ability to attract players from other codes down the year has allowed Wales to feature many stars.
The country has also featured a number of household names who have played for the country due to their heritage, which again has added to the star power of national teams.
Amongst the most iconic and biggest names to have represented Wales on the international stage have included Billy Boston, Gus Risman, Jim Sullivan, Lewis Jones, David Watkins, Trever Foster, Clive Sullivan, Johnathan Davies, Willie Davis, Iestyn Harris, Lloyd White, Rhys Williams, Elliot Kear, Christiaan Roets, Jordan James, Adam Hughes, Ian Watson, Regan Grace and Lee Briers.
Rugby League in Wales can be traced back to 1907 when a team was established to welcome the touring All Golds of New Zealand, whom they played in their first ever international test match on the 1st of January 1908 at the Athletic Ground in Aberdare where Wales ran out 9-8 winners in front of a bumper crowd of around 15,000.
A year later, Wales XIII met the Australian Kangaroos for the first time when they picked up a win at Pennydarren park in Merthyr Tydfil.
The first full test match took place in 1936 when they once again played New Zealand and once again picked up a home win before they went onto to make history in 1930, when they met Australia in a non-test level match that was the first ever international Rugby League match to be played at the old Wembley Stadium.
The countries first ever title success came in the 1935-36 season when Wales picked up the European Rugby League Championship after defeating the hosts England in Hull.
They went on to back up that with wins in both 1937 and 1938 to make it a hat-trick of titles.
Wales set their record attendance for a standalone international in 1945 when around 30,000 fans watched they faced England in Swansea.
In 1975, Wales made their Rugby League World Cup bow and although they struggled overall, they did pick up a win against England at the iconic Lang Park in Brisbane.
In 1991, Wales made history once more when they welcome Papua New Guinea to the Vetch Field in Swansea and won by a record 68-0 in a match that saw Johnathan Davies score 24 points on his own before breaking barriers once more a year later when they defeated France for the first time across the channel.
1995 was one of the most successful years for the country as they not only defeated England for the first time since 1968 in the European Championship but they also reached the semi-finals of the World up, before losing to England.
They managed to back up that feat at the next World Cup in 2000 but the early 200 went onto prove to be a difficult time for the country before they found more success towards the end of the decade with wins in the 2009 and 2010 European Cups, although those wins failed to max them losing to Lebanon in 2007 that ended their chances of qualifying for the 2008 World Cup.
Wales managed to qualify for the 2011 4 Nations but they ended up with no wins to their name.
Wales co-hosted the 2013 World Cup but unfortunately they failed to pick up a single win including against Italy in the tournament opener in front of over 50,000 at the Millennium Stadium.
The 2017 edition also saw them struggle with no wins but with more and more players enjoying game time in the Super League and with 2 semi-professional sides enjoying some stability in the English pyramid, there is lots of hope for the future of the sport in Wales.