Regan Grace: Great Britain’s left winger?

27 Apr 19, 12:00AM 0 Comments

Written by Zack Wilson

When the Great Britain team is picked by Wayne Bennett at the end of the season, there is no a very good chance that at least one player from outside England will be in the party.

Injuries to Ryan Hall and Tom Johnstone have opened up a spot on the left wing in the Lions party, and the man who could fill the vacancy comes from South Wales.

Regan Grace has exploded onto a new level in 2019, going from a player with some potential to being a real star this season.

The man from Port Talbot now sits third the Super League try scoring charts, with 11 tries, one fewer than Josh Charnley of Warrington.

Grace reached Super League after starting his rugby career in the 15-man code in his Welsh homeland.

Grace played alongside Wales rugby union Grand Slam-winning centre Owen Watkin in the Ospreys’ Under-16 side.

But Grace was also playing rugby league whilst he was starring in the other code, and his devotion to league has now borne fruit.

Grace has scored 40 tries in 68 appearances in total in a Saints shirt in his career.

Three of those tries came in the Good Friday derby against Wigan Warriors, where Grace helped his team to a 36-10 win at the DW Stadium.

Scoring a hat-trick against the Pie Eaters is one sure way to cement a place in the affections of the Saints faithful.

Grace’s main strengths are his footwork and ability to change pace. He is the type of winger who can beat players with just inches of space to spare, and turn a defence inside out with his twisting and turning side-steps.

At just 5’8” and weighing in at under 13 stones, Welsh union fans might see some comparison with their former star Shane Williams.

But whoever he might remind them of, Welsh rugby fans of the other code should be making a point to watch Grace this season.

If he could attract the same type of support from the Valleys that cross-code converts in the 1980s and 90s received from Welsh union fans, it would give Super League a bit of a boost when it comes to a wider profile.

Indeed, if Saints carry on playing the way they are right now, we could several more of the team in Great Britain colours in the autumn.

Lachlan Coote might not be a selection to everyone’s taste, given his Australian birth and upbringing, but the Scotland international is eligible for Great Britain.

Given his form currently, and the way he is combining with Grace and Tommy Makinson, it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that he may become Scotland’s representative on the Lions tour.

Another man with an outside chance of making the trip is Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook. The Ireland international is just the kind of exuberant character who is good on tour.

He also played in Papua New Guinea with Ireland at the World Cup, experience which might come in handy.

But whether or not Coote or LMS make it onto the trip, one man who should definitely be on the plane to the Pacific is Regan Grace of Wales.

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