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Wales' Kieron Cunningham
"We've got a lot of young players and they're very, very talented"
 real 14k

banner Friday, 27 October, 2000, 14:55 GMT 15:55 UK
Wales v Cook Islands preview
Kevin Iro
Kevin Iro: captains Cook Islands against Wales
Group Two, Wrexham, 29-10-00

St Helens centre Kevin Iro will captain the Cook Islands against Wales at Wrexham on Sunday. 

Iro will challenge a number of St Helens team-mates such as Anthony Sullivan, Kieron Cunningham and Paul Atcheson.

Coach Stan Martin was able to pick from a full-strength squad.

Wales' experienced forward Cunningham told BBC Wales that he is looking forward to his clash with Iro.

We've got a lot of young players and they're very, very talented
  Kieron Cunningham
Cunningham is excited ahead of the tournament and is sure Wales can do well:

"We've got a lot of young players and they're very, very talented," he said.

In 1995 people were aware of the big-name players like Jonathan Davies and Scott Gibbs, but Cunningham is confident that the youngsters can be just as successful.

The whole squad has been boosted by the impressive win out in South Africa.

Team news

Wales' coach Clive Griffiths announced his side following a Friday morning training session at the Millennium Stadium.

Widnes Vikings' Ian Watson, who celebrates his 24th birthday on Friday was among the substitutes.

Keiron Cunningham, who missed Wales' 40-8 win over South Africa in Pretoria last week in order to rest a back injury, returns to the team.

Hull hooker Mick Jenkins switches to the second row, with David Highton dropping to bench.

Dave Whittle starts in the front row instead of Garreth Carvell in the only other change.


Wales: P Aitcheson, P Sterling, J Critchley, K Tassell, A Sullivan, I Harris, L Briers, A Farrell, K Cunningham, D Whittle, J Morgan, M Jenkins, D Busby.
Substitutes: I Watson, W Davies, P Highton, G Carvell

Cook Islands: Richard Piakura, Tangiia Tongai, Steve Berryman, Kevin Iro (capt), Karl Temata, Craig Bowen, Leroy Joe, George Tuakura, Zane Clark, Jason Temu, Patrick Kuru, Tyrone Pau, Anthony Samuels
Replacements: Michael Anderson, Peter Lewis, Tere Glassie, Adam Cook/Watene              

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See also:

25 Oct 00 |  Group 2
Davies hopes Wales are Cooking
25 Oct 00 |  Group 2
Sullivan all fired up
25 Oct 00 |  Group 2
Rugby codes combine at Swansea
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