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Wales head coach John Kear believes the sport should focus more on the international game in order to grow itself.
The Dragons travelled to France over the weekend for a mid-season international test.
It was their first game in more than three years, having last played November 11, 2018. They defeated Ireland 40-8 on that day.
Kear’s side fell to a 34-10 defeat in Albi on Sunday, but the Wales boss was pleased to see his squad return to action and has called for the sport to focus more on the international game.
John Kear calls for more focus on international scene
“I care about the game and the only way we’re going to really grow and become a major sporting player is by having a very strong, competitive international game,” Kear said from France following his side’s World Cup preparations.
“We need to be more outward-looking, rather than inward-looking and realise that the club games are obviously vital, but the international game is also vital. Especially when you look at the eyes on the game, the profile of the game and possible sponsorships.
“My brother lives in Shrewsbury and he and his mates will go watch England and Combined Nations. But he and his mates aren’t bothered about Warrington and Wigan.
“You’ve got to put that perspective on it and decide, ‘Do we want to properly grow the game or not?’”
Wales plan another warm-up game 10 days before their opening World Cup group game against Cook Islands on October 19. England kick-off the tournament on Saturday, October 15, against Samoa at Newcastle’s St James’ Park.
Kear will take charge of Widnes on a contract until at least the end of 2023 from July 1. The 67-year-old will combine his role with the Vikings alongside his position in the international game with Wales.
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