Wales captain Craig Kopczak admits Italy World Cup defeat 'still raw'

Craig Kopczak in action against Serbia
Craig Kopczak joined Salford Red Devils from Huddersfield Giants ahead of the 2016 Super League season
2017 Rugby League World Cup qualifier: Italy v Wales
Venue: Stadio Brianteo, Monza Date: Saturday, 29 October Kick-off: 15:30 BST

Captain Craig Kopczak says Wales' defeat to Italy in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup is still "raw."

The countries meet in a qualifier in Monza on Saturday with the winners securing a place at next year's tournament.

Wales lost 32-16 to Italy in Cardiff in the opening game of a disappointing 2013 World Cup campaign.

"It was my first time as captain leading out at the Millennium Stadium and they turned us over," Kopczak said.

"It's still raw in my mind. We want to go out there in Italy and do a number."

A draw in Monza would be enough for John Kear's side to qualify while the group runners-up will face Ireland or Russia in a play-off on 4 November in Leigh.

Wales kicked off their World Cup qualifying campaign with a comfortable 50-0 win against Serbia, who lost 62-14 to the Italians on Saturday.

Mirco Bergamasco
Mirco Bergamasco appeared in three World Cups for Italy's rugby union side

Salford Red Devils forward Kopczak says Wales are determined to qualify automatically rather than face a play-off.

"We don't want to play any more games. We want to go out there and cement our place," he added.

"It's going to be an exciting contest with two very good teams coming up against each other.

"Some of the Italy players have got a lot of experience in the NRL and the rugby union player, Mirco Bergamasco, is in there as well.

"It's going to be a very good contest. "

Wales warmed up for their game against Italy with a 16-16 draw in a friendly against Jamaica in Wakefield,

Head coach Kear says his side will need to improve on their performance against Jamaica if they are to beat Italy on Saturday.

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