John Kear: Ben Flower & Rhys Evans not sure of Wales World Cup spot, says coach

Ben Flower
Ben Flower won the Super League title with Wigan Warriors in 2016

Wales coach John Kear has challenged Super League stars Ben Flower and Rhys Evans to "tear the house down" or miss out on a place at the 2017 World Cup.

Warrington three-quarter Evans and Wigan prop Flower withdrew from the Wales squad for qualifiers against Serbia and Italy in October.

And coach Kear says they are outsiders to make the trip to Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

"This season, they'll have to tear the house down basically," said Kear.

"They'll have to play so well that I'd be foolish to leave them out. The criteria for selection is loyalty and commitment to the cause.

"We picked up the Welsh team when morale was low and performances weren't crash hot, but we've turned that around because we set the culture, the standards and the ethos in stone and we've gone six games undefeated.

"I think there's bit of loyalty to be rewarded."

Meanwhile, Wales have no plans for any mid-season internationals or meet-ups before the World Cup, which begins in October.

"I'm in club rugby and I know that 30 Super League games, or 23 Championship games with the Super 8s, and all the Challenge Cup and play-off games is enough for any player," said Kear, who is also part of Wakefield's coaching team.

"We're leaving the players alone. So in that fallow week when England play Samoa, they'll be resting up. We won't meet until 10 days before we fly out."

Wales' World Cup campaign opens against co-hosts Papua New Guinea in Port Moresby on 28 October. They also face Fiji and Ireland in the group stages.

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