Gavin Henson: John Kear says code convert could be Wales' goalkicker at 2021 Rugby League World Cup
Former British and Irish Lions back Gavin Henson came out of retirement to play for rugby league side West Wales Raiders; Wales coach John Kear says Henson could be a goalkicking option for Rugby League World Cup
By PA Media
Last Updated: 24/02/21 7:39pm
Gavin Henson can provide the answer to Wales' goalkicking problems in the 2021 World Cup, says coach John Kear.
The former Wales and Lions fly-half has switched codes, signing for Betfred League 1 club West Wales Raiders.
Even at the age of 39, he will be considered for the end-of-year World Cup, which is being held in England.
"When you speak to the Welsh players, it's amazing how much they hold him in high esteem," said Kear.
"He obviously was a great and, should he be able to come somewhere near that, he would obviously have to come under consideration.
"One of our problems in recent years is goalkicking but, if he is playing, he wouldn't miss many goals so he would certainly solve one of our problems.
"We have some exciting players within the Wales structure, some established internationals and we're flying the flag for people like Bradman Best and Caleb Aekins in the NRL so I think we can put a real competitive team together.
"But, if Gavin Henson is playing well enough to warrant a place in the squad, why not pick him? It certainly wouldn't do us any harm. It would do a lot of good media-wise."
The 19-year-old Best, who qualifies for Wales through his grandparents, enjoyed a fairytale first full season in the NRL with Newcastle Knights in 2020 and would represent a major coup, with Kear believing he is good enough to play for Australia.
"Our manager is speaking to Bradman every fortnight - it's Bradman's mum he is speaking with most of the time and she is very keen for Bradman to play and he obviously is," Kear said.
"If he has a stellar season, like he had last year, he might be wearing green and gold (of Australia).
"So I'm hoping he doesn't play quite well enough to get a green and gold shirt because he'll certainly be welcome in a red shirt of Wales."