Wales international Rhodri Lloyd has described his experience in Papua New Guinea as the ‘best’ in his career as he looks ahead to his next challenge against Fiji Bati.
John Kears’ side took on PNG in front of a sell-out crowd as Port Moresby hosted its first World Cup game since 1991.
Former Wigan and Widnes second-rower Lloyd started for the Welsh side, but it was David Mead who led his team to a record-breaking fifty points to six victory, scoring ten tries in their biggest ever World Cup win.
“PNG was the best rugby experience of my life,” explained the 24-year-old.
“The passion for Rugby league over there is insane. You feel so privileged to play the game when you’re over there and you are well respected by the locals.
“The crowd was very intense and loud. It was fantastic.”
The current Swinton Lions centre represented The Dragons in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup and will make his 13th cap for Wales against Fiji this weekend.
However, being called up to the squad is still an honour, explained the youngster.
“I remember the email straight away, I was over the moon,” he said.
“John is a great coach and I knew he would make this World Cup an enjoyable one.
“To represent my country is a privilege, and I love playing for Wales.”
Wales look to bounce back from their worst ever World Cup defeat to take on Mick Potter’s Fiji Bati at Townsville, who ran 58 points against USA in the opening round of the campaign.
“We have prepared very well,” said Lloyd.
“Fiji are a big and powerful side with a very strong back three that we need to control.
“We have had a run out against Italy on Thursday where we performed very well.
“We need to bounce back from last week’s defeat, and put hinge right against Fiji.”
Discussing Wales’ aims for the World Cup campaign, Lloyd added:
“Our aim was to win, and that’s still our aim despite our loss last week. We need to concentrate on ourselves and make sure we all do our jobs.”
Wales face Fiji Sunday November 5th at Townsville, 8:30am on Premier Sports.
By Josh McAllister