Kopczak relishing playing for Wales

PA Sport
Craig Kopczak is focusing on playing for Wales
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Craig Kopczak is focusing on playing for Wales

Craig Kopczak may not know which club he will be playing for next season, but for the next three weeks his only concern will be pulling on the red jersey of Wales.

The 25-year-old prop forward could find out later this week if he was within his rights to walk out on Bradford just before the end of the Super League season when the Rugby Football League reveal the findings of their investigation into his conduct.

More immediately, Kopczak is focusing on Saturday's opening autumn international against France in Lens, which is followed a week later by the visit of England to Wrexham, with the top two teams contesting the November 11 final at Salford.

"It's a massive honour playing for Wales," Kopczak said at the team's base in north Wales. "I'm looking forward to this tournament and the World Cup."

Kopczak, who qualifies through his Welsh grandparents, made a big impact for Wales in last year's Four Nations Series with Australia, England and New Zealand but missed this year's home game against France due to injury.

"I did my ankle on the Magic Weekend," he said. "It was a real disappointing time because I had been training with Wales as well during the year and I was really excited for that Test.

"But a lot of young guys got a chance to have a go in that game and they did really well.

"It's an exciting time for Wales. A lot of great, positive things came out of last year's Four Nations tournament and hopefully we can take them into the World Cup."

Kopczak's growing presence in the Welsh squad was illustrated by his elevation to head coach Iestyn Harris' four-strong leadership group from which the next captain will be chosen.

"Iestyn has put me there for a reason and I'm just relishing the opportunity," said Kopczak, whose captaincy rivals are Ben Flower, Jordan James and Neil Budworth. "It would be unreal if I ever got to captain the side. It would be one of the proudest moments in my life."

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