Rafiuke Taylor - one of 14 Cardiff Blue Dragons players in the squad - won five caps for Wales in rugby union between 2013 and 2014 and so could become Wales' first female dual code rugby international.

At age group level, Wales run a national U19 squad, coached by former Wales player Anthony Walker, as well as an U16 team who can boast as their coach, ex-Great Britain legend, Lee Crooks.

It's not just the international end of Welsh rugby league that is evolving, though. At the grass roots and club level, things are starting to change.

The men's club game has always struggled to sustain a senior domestic league in Wales of both depth and quality, although leagues have blossomed at Under 12, U14 and U16 levels this season.

Many of those youngsters play both codes of rugby - union and league - a far cry from the time 25 years ago when the two sports inhabited very separate worlds.

The two leading clubs in Wales - the North Wales Crusaders (Wrexham) and the West Wales Raiders (Llanelli) - play in League One, the third tier of professional rugby league and this summer was a notable one for the Raiders who won their first league match to end a 44-game losing streak.

In the level below, the community game, the weakness of the Welsh domestic league has seen the Cardiff Blue Dragons and the Valley Cougars - who play at Nelson and Treharris - join a newly launched league, called the Southern Conference.

It gives the two Welsh clubs the chance to raise standards and income, by playing alongside the best English clubs at that level.

There are now rugby league student teams based at Cardiff Met as well as Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities.

Coleg Y Cymoedd, based at Rhondda Cynon Taff and Caerphilly, even offers a full-time study course in rugby league - the only one in the country.

Wales also now has a representative team from the community game called the Dragonhearts, who play South of England Lionhearts at Neath on the same day as that first Wales women's game on October 26.

Wales wheelchair side have also had fixtures this autumn, with a victory over Scotland and two defeats to England.

Newly appointed Wales Rugby League chief executive Gareth Kear says: "I have a passion for all sport and especially rugby league because it's always been open and inclusive to all parts of the community.

"Working with our strategic partners, Sport Wales, rugby league can help make us a more active nation and provide a lifelong enjoyment of sport for everyone."

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