Kopczak handed Wales captaincy

PA Sport
Craig Kopczak will lead Wales on Saturday

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Craig Kopczak will lead Wales on Saturday

Craig Kopczak has been appointed as Wales' new captain.

The 25-year-old prop, who is currently without a club after controversially walking out on Bradford just before the end of the Stobart Super League season, will lead Wales for the first time against France in Lens on Saturday.

The 6ft 4in, 17-stone Bradford-born forward, who qualifies for Wales through his grandparents, will win his 10th cap in the opening game of the autumn triangular tournament.

"It is an unbelievable honour," he said.

"Every one of the boys with Wales have congratulated me today and that means a lot to me.

"It will be a proud moment for me to lead the country out against the French. I have gained a lot of experience and leadership in the past years and I hope I can now bring that to the fore.

"There have been a lot of amazing captains for Wales over the years and hopefully I can fill those boots.

"I am just going to put everything behind me now and do everything I can to help the boys win this game on Saturday."

Kopczak was recently elevated to a four-strong leadership group, alongside Australia-based hooker Neil Budworth and former captains Ben Flower and Jordan James, and is in pole position to lead Wales into the 2013 World Cup.

Warrington stand-off Lee Briers was Wales captain until retiring from the international game at the end of the 2011 Four Nations Series while James stepped into the role for the mid-summer international against France in Wrexham.

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