1245days
21hours
54mins
23secs
 

Behind the Line: Elliot Kear

In a special St David’s Day edition, Wales Men international, Elliot Kear, talks to us about his nation’s fixtures at RLWC2021, the importance of Welsh fans and highlights the potential stars for Wales at this year’s tournament.

1 Mar 2021

Behind the Line: Elliot Kear

In a special St David’s Day edition, Wales Men international, Elliot Kear, talks to us about his nation’s fixtures at RLWC2021, the importance of Welsh fans and highlights the potential stars for Wales at this year’s tournament.

Welcome to Behind the Line. A series of in-depth interviews that will delve into the careers and personalities of the elite athletes who aim to represent their nations with pride at Rugby League World Cup 2021.

In a special St David’s Day edition, Wales Men international, Elliot Kear, talks to us about his nation’s fixtures at RLWC2021, the importance of Welsh fans and highlights the potential stars for Wales at this year’s tournament.

Cardiff-born, Elliot Kear, has enjoyed a successful career to date. After spells at clubs within Wales and England, including a season spent in Rugby Union, the 32-year-old now represents Super League side, Salford Red Devils.

The proud Welshman is under no illusion of the task that lies ahead of him and his teammates at RLWC2021, but he’s keen to grab the opportunity with both hands. 

“There’s some teams with some really big athletes, but stepping away from that you’ve really got to think more about yourselves. We need to make sure we get the camp right, and get the right players in, and prepare as well as we can.

“We know Tonga are going to be in the top three nations in the world, so we know that’s going to be a real challenge. We didn’t have a good game when we played Papua New Guinea, they were a different animal when we played them in Port Moresby.

“Hopefully we can feed off the atmosphere and the fans like they did. Hopefully, we can use that to our gain in the UK. These teams won’t be used to the cold, wet, and miserable weather, whereas we play in it week in week out.”  Though aware of the battle ahead, Kear is mindful that RLWC2021 may be the last for many within the squad. Something that motivates him even further.

“We need to be really competitive. A lot of players that I’ve played with are possibly coming to their last World Cup, so we’re probably looking at the new players to fill our boots for the next world cup moving on.

“To put on a great show and have these new players watch us take on the best teams in the world, what great motivation that would be for them.”

As the Salford back looks to the future, he’s eager to indicate that the future of Welsh Rugby League is extremely bright.

“You all know Regan Grace, he’s taken the sport by storm. He’s probably the most exciting outside back in the Super League at the moment. Elliot Jenkins, who has been playing in the lower leagues, he’s a really promising player and then you have the Welsh twins at Halifax [Conor and Curtis Davies]. It’s great that Wales can keep producing great young athletes.”

At RLWC2021, the Dragons will face Cook Islands at Leigh Sports Village, Tonga at St Helens’ Totally Wicked Stadium and Papua New Guinea at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster. Kear is hopeful that fans will come out in force at each venue.

“I’ve played in all three of those stadiums, and to have them full would be a great occasion, and what an atmosphere it would be. They may only be medium-sized stadiums, but when they’re full it feels like double the amount of people in there. There’s been a big push in Doncaster, so if we can build on that, and hopefully add some Welsh fans to the locals it’ll be a great day.”

With huge fixtures on the horizon at this year’s tournament, the Welsh star is issuing a rallying cry to his compatriots to turn out and back them on their journey ahead.

“It’s something that you don’t want to miss out on. You might never get the opportunity to watch and support Wales against a team like Tonga.

“I wouldn’t say it's once in a lifetime but the World Cup’s probably not going to be over here for a number of years. It should be a no brainer for fans to come and watch. The Welsh fans don’t need much motivation to come out in their numbers.”

Though many will have previously watched the Dragons in action, Kear also has a message for those who will be experiencing international Rugby League for the first time.

“Watching your first Rugby League game or international live are the moments that stay with you for life. You’ll never forget it, it gave me so much push and strive to get there and play on that stage.

“When we were at Crusaders in Wrexham, I played my first game against Leeds in 2010 and there were over 10 to15 thousand fans at Wrexham’s stadium. The Welsh love their Rugby, and hopefully, they’ll love Rugby League just as much. Union is massive in South Wales, and hopefully, we can replicate that.” 

“For me, League is a great spectator sport, the ball is in play for so long, especially now we have the six-again rule. It’s so easy to watch, and there’s always so much going on in those 80 minutes that there’s not a lot of standstills.

“It has made it harder for the players, but it has made it great to watch. I think if you give it a go you won’t regret it because it’s a nail-biting game.”

After growing up in Cardiff, a predominantly Rugby Union city, the 27-time Wales international knows that RLWC2021 is a huge opportunity to raise awareness of Rugby League in his country. 

“I just hope that we have a good competitive edge and that we’re pushing some of these great teams. I think we will surprise some teams if I’m being honest.

“What a great advert for kids to play Rugby it’ll be, and watch us play on the biggest stage. Rugby Union doesn’t suit all players, and I think Rugby League may suit a lot more players that don’t get that chance in Union.“

Don't miss your chance to see Wales Men in action. Sign-up for ticket alerts today and we'll add an 'on sale' event to your diary when our general sale dates are announced.

Principal Sponsor

Partner

Official Sponsors

Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner

Partners

Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner Partner
recite me menu recite me menu