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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 October, 2004, 12:38 GMT 13:38 UK
Lennon answers distant Wales call
Castleford's Damien Gibson will skipper the Wales side
Castleford's Damien Gibson will skipper the Wales side
Former Castleford utility back Mark Lennon has flown 12,000 miles to play for Wales in the European Nations Cup.

The Australian-born Lennon, who has Welsh parentage, joined NRL club Manly but is keen to add to his Wales caps.

Lennon is in line to play on Sunday as Wales begin their European campaign against Ireland in Aberavon.

"He's played some first-grade for Manly and it's a big commitment, such keenness needs rewarding," said new Wales coach Stuart Wilkinson.

Wales will be captained by Lennon's former Castleford team-mate Damian Gibson, which includes other Super League players Hefin O'Hare, Adam Hughes, Bryn Powell and Steve Thomas.

Wilkinson will be without injured Widnes forward David Millsfor the Ireland match.

But Halifax player-coach Anthony Farrell and second row Chris Morley, older brother of Sydney Roosters packman Adrian, should be available for next week's match against Scotland in Glasgow.

There are 11 players who are actually born in Wales
Wales coach Stuart Wilkinson

"We are without some world-class players who are not available for various reasons, such as operations and other commitments with Great Britain," added Wilkinson, who is assistant to Leeds Rhinos coach Tony Smith.

"But we have players from last year's squad and I've selected nine players from the Welsh Summer Conference.

"There are 11 players who are actually born in Wales, which for me is a major achievement."

Also included in the 23-man squad is Aberavon Fighting Irish's rising young star Mark Burke.

The 19-year-old will put his law studies on hold this season for trials with Perpignan, Leeds and St Helens.

Of the three former dual-code internationals named in October's original squad announcement, only Kevin Ellis is available as Allan Bateman and John Devereux have other commitments.

2004 EUROPEAN NATIONS CUP:

Wales squad: Damien Gibson (Castleford Tigers, capt), Hefin O'Hare (Huddersfield Giants), Kris Tassell (Unattached), Adam Hughes (Widnes Vikings), Bryn Powell (Salford City Reds), Mark Lennon (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Ian Watson (Oldham), Damien Hudd (Torfaen Tigers), Dave Clarke (Barrow Raiders), Anthony Farrell (Halifax), Gareth Dean (Workington), Jordan James (Sheffield Eagles), Barry Pugh (Barrow Raiders), Aled James (Sheffield Eagles), Steve Thomas (London Broncos), Nathan Strong (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Tom Brown (Coventry RFC), Lewis Taylor (Leeds Rhinos), Neil Davies (Aberavon Fighting Irish), Kevin Ellis (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Mark Burke (Aberavon Fighting Irish), John Breakingbury (Sheffield Eagles), Lenny Woodard (Bridgend Blue Bulls).

Fixtures and results:
16 October: Russia 10-58 France, Moscow Olympic Stadium
17 October: Wales v Ireland, Aberavon RUFC (1430 BST)
24 October: Russia v England, Moscow Olympic Stadium
24 October: Scotland v Wales, Glasgow Hawks RFC (1500 BST)
29 October: Ireland v Scotland, Navan RFC (1930 BST)
30 October: France v England, Avignon
7 November: European Nations Cup Final at Halliwell Jones Stadium, Warrington (1345 BST)




SEE ALSO
Welsh legends play on
03 Oct 04  |  Rugby League


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