Coach John Kear insists Wales must improve on last World Cup display

Wales and Cook Islands
Wales were defeated by the Cook Islands and USA in their last World Cup appearance

Wales coach John Kear is already looking forward to next year's Rugby League World Cup.

A spirited fight-back against Italy at the weekend, means Wales have qualified for the tournament in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.

At the World Cup four years ago, despite home advantage, Wales failed to win a game and finished bottom of their group and Kear wants better.

"My big desire is for us to perform well," said Kear.

"I'm delighted and I'm looking forward to going. There are some players in there who feel that they didn't do themselves justice in the last World Cup.

"We've got to make sure we do ourselves justice in this World Cup and get through to at least the knock-out stages.

"That's the goal now, but there is obviously a lot of work for us to do between now and then in order for us to achieve that goal."

Wales will open their World Cup campaign on 28 October next year with a clash against Papua New Guinea at their home in Port Moresby.

They follow that up with an inter-group clash with Fiji in Queensland, Australia on 5 November before travelling to Perth a week later to meet fellow Group C rivals Ireland.

Kear's side came from from behind to beat Italy in Monza to qualify for the World Cup.

Wales had been affected by injuries and unavailability to their original 22-man squad. but Kear said success was very much down to the togetherness of his squad.

Wales rugby league action pic
Wales will be appearing at a second successive Rugby League World Cup

"There's been adversity left, right and centre, but they've come through it with a very good performance, especially in the second-half," Kear added.

"We've had to bring in players from outside and we've had to re-jig the team. We've then picked up an injury with Rhodri Lloyd and Joe Burke's on and off the field with a nose injury.

"How they've played reflected how they feel about themselves and each other. There's passion, pride and desire within this group and they've shown it in bucket loads during the game.

"They stuck exactly to what our game plan was."

Subscribe to the BBC Sport newsletter to get our pick of news, features and video sent to your inbox.

Top Stories