Lacrosse: Wales on the World Cup finals trail - Welsh Sports News

March 27, 2014

Wales will be on the World Cup stage this summer as the men’s national lacrosse team head for the sport’s finals in the US.

The Dragons will be breathing fire in Denver against the global elite in a 10-day competition that will be broadcast around the world.

Wales will be taking a 23-man squad to the Rockies in July and each one of them has had to pay for flights, accommodation and kit.

“It is an incredible commitment in terms of work and family events to make the team and then pay to get there but everyone is excited and very proud to be representing Wales,” said the head coach, Dan Funnell.

“The sacrifices have been huge and we still have a lot of hard work to do but we have a talented squad which continues to improve.”

Wales, who finished 11th in the 2010 World Championships, have been drawn in a group with Russia, Argentina and New Zealand, with their first game on 11 July against Russia.

Lacrosse, a fast-flowing 10-a-side sport, is enjoying a huge surge with more than 19,000 regular players across the UK and more than 100 universities, including six in Wales, taking it up over the last 10 years.

The game, which involves players moving a hard rubber ball between sticks at high speed and attempting to score in 6ft by 6ft goals, was brought to the UK by touring Iroquois Indians in 1867. It is a highly physical sport with take-outs, stick-checks, rolling substitutions and 100 mph shots adding to the intensity.

Wales’ likely opponents after the group phase will be Netherlands, who they beat in Manchester group action but then lost agonizingly by a single goal in the play-offs.

The players are drawn from around the UK with many starting their careers at Swansea, Penarth and Cardiff, who have just won promotion to the Southern Premier League.

“The sport is growing at an amazing rate with many universities adopting it as a sport,” added Funnell. “Our aim is to both represent Wales with pride in the US and to grow the game in the country.

“We want to inspire more Welsh youngsters to play and enjoy a great sport. We are getting lots of support from people and it is great to know there is so much pride in the national side.”

The team are holding regular training weekends at Monmouth School before flying out to Denver on 2 July.

The Wales women’s lacrosse team will have to wait until 2017 for their World Championships, which are being held in Guildford, England.

But the side, ranked 5th in the world, are preparing for this weekend’s (March 29-30) Home International series with England, Scotland and Ireland at Llanwern High School, Hartridge Farm Road, Newport, NP18 2YE.

Further information can be obtained via: www.waleslacrosse.co.uk and: @WalesMensLax

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