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Restall still in line for first Welsh cap

OWEN Restall, our full-back with the golden touch when it comes to scoring tries, is still in line to win his first Welsh cap this week-end, still in with a shout after John Kear trimmed his squad from 30 to 21 for Sunday’s Test against France in Albi.

There are ten possible debutants in the Albi international, which is a warm-up match for this autumn’s world Cup. It starts at 3.30pm local time.

They include Restall, Will Evans, Luis Roberts and Cobi Green, who represented Wales in the international Nines competition in 2019 but has yet to feature in a full international. 

Wales head coach, John Kear, has also drafted in two players not in the original 30-man squad named last week. Prop Luke Thomas, has represented Wales at age-group level and is now part of the Warrington Wolves squad. Kyle Evans is a former rugby union winger for Scarlets, who recently joined Wakefield Trinity. 

The 31-year-old spent three seasons in the Welsh Premiership with Llanelli where he scored 27 tries in 57 games and earned a call up to regional duty with Scarlets in the LV Cup. He later played for Merthyr and the Cardiff Blues Premiership Select side. His most recent rugby union experience came at Doncaster Knights. 

Bailey Antrobus, Jude Ferreira, Tom Hopkins,and Lewis Hulme are also included for their potential first Wales appearances.

Anthony Walker is in the squad having been forced into retirement on the eve of the 2017 World Cup. A scan showed an abnormality in his brain that had been there since birth, and denied him the chance of being part of the tournament. He received the all clear and began playing once again in 2020. 

The game will be the first full international for Wales’ men in more than 1,300 days, since beating Ireland to qualify for the upcoming World Cup.

The squad in full: Bailey Antrobus* (York City Knights), Joe Burke (West Wales Raiders), Chester Butler (Huddersfield Giants - on loan at Bradford Bulls), Michael Butt (Swinton Lions), Connor Davies (Workington Town), Curtis Davies (Workington Town), Will Evans* (Whitehaven), Ben Evans (Bradford Bulls), Kyle Evans* (Wakefield Trinity), Jude Ferreira* (Hull FC - on loan London Broncos), Matty Fozard (Widnes Vikings), Dalton Grant (London Broncos), Cobi Green* (Rochdale Hornets), Tom Hopkins* (Barrow Raiders), Lewis Hulme* (Widnes Vikings), Elliot Kear (Bradford Bulls), Owen Restall* (Oldham), Luis Roberts* (Leigh Centurions), Luke Thomas* (Warrington Wolves), Anthony Walker (Bradford Bulls), Rhys Williams (c) (Salford Red Devils).  *Uncapped

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