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Wednesday, 20 June, 2001, 13:25 GMT 14:25 UK
Harris named in Wales squad
Iestyn Harris
Harris was an integral part of Wales' World Cup side
Iestyn Harris, the Leeds Rhinos stand-off who is a target for rugby union, is included in the preliminary Wales squad to play England in a rugby league international next month.

Harris looks set to move to Cardiff at the end of the Super League season.

New Wales coach Neil Kelly has named a 28-man squad but will trim that number to 18 for the match at Wrexham's Racecourse Ground on 31 July.

"It is a relief to have Iestyn in the squad," he said.

"He has a personal decision to make but, while ever he is a league player, we are delighted to select him."

We believe that we have assembled a squad with sufficient experience to build a team capable of beating England
  Neil Kelly

The clash with England will see Wales return to action for the first time since their momentous Lincoln World Cup semi-final defeat by Australia in Huddersfield last year.

Wales nearly caused one of rugby league's major upsets when the Kangaroos found themselves trailing Wales at the McAlpine Stadium and it took a supreme effort for Australia to eventually overcome Harris and company.

Kelly includes three newcomers in his first national squad.

They are Castleford's Australian utility back Mark Lennon, whose mother comes from Cardiff, London Broncos' former London Welsh back row forward Steffan Hughes and prop Andrew Grundy, who has joined Warrington from Gateshead.

There are 19 survivors from the World Cup while Wales welcome back Wakefield utility back Martin Pearson, who missed the second half of last season through a drugs ban.

Wigan's veteran prop Neil Cowie was not considered because of his age but Salford's experienced playmaker Karle Hammond is recalled after missing the World Cup through injury.

"This is a new start for the Welsh team under a reformed management system," Kelly said. "We believe that we have assembled a squad with sufficient experience to build a team capable of beating England."

Kelly took over the reins from Clive Griffiths having served under him as assistant coach in the World Cup, while Kel Coslett, the former St Helens and Rochdale Hornets loose forward, was recruited to be team manager.

Welsh-speaking Coslett came over from Aberavon RFC and established himself as one of rugby league's best value signings from Welsh rugby.

Wales squad:

Iestyn Harris (Leeds Rhino), Chris Smith (Hull FC), Kris Tassell (Salford City Reds), Wes Davies (Wigan Warriors), Anthony Sullivan (St Helens), Lee Briers (Warrington Wolves), Barry Eaton (Dewsbury Rams), Garreth Carvell (Hull FC), Keiron Cunnungham (St Helens), Anthony Farrell (Leeds Rhinos), Paul Highton (Salford City Reds), Chris Morley (Leigh Centurions), Dean Busby (Warrington Wolves), Paul Atcheson (Widnes Vikings), David Whittle (Leigh Centurions), Mark Lennon (Castleford Tigers), Jason Lee (Halifax Blue Sox), Damian Gibson (Halifax Blue Sox), Jason Critchley (Whitehaven), Heffin O'Hare (Huddersfield Giants), Martin Pearson (Wakefield Trinity Wildcats), Ian Watson (Widnes Vikings), Craig Makin (Salford City Reds), Gareth Price (St Helens), David Luckwell (Hull Kingston Rovers), Steffan Hughes (London Broncos), Andrew Grundy (Warrington Wolves), Karl Hammond (Salford City Reds).

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