CAERPHILLY'S Rhodri Lloyd believes competition for places can drive Wales to great things at the Rugby League World Cup this autumn.

The Swinton Lions utility player was named in John Kear's provisional 38-man training squad for the tournament in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea last Friday.

The 24-year-old, who went to Ysgol Gyfun Cwm Rhymni, is now aiming to finish the season strongly with the Lions to give himself the best chance of a trip to the southern hemisphere.

"There's competition for places so no one's on the plane yet," said Lloyd. "That'll be good for the camp we have.

"It'll be tough to be on the plane, but I think the people who do will wear the shirt with pride and we'll do well.

"I can't wait, but there's a lot of hard work to be done yet. We've still got the regular season to finish off with our clubs."

The Dragons are currently unbeaten in six matches having won the European Championship in 2015 and qualified for the World Cup.

Four years ago they lost all three games – to Italy, the USA and the Cook Islands – but Lloyd believes they've made great strides since.

"We're all getting excited for the World Cup," he said. "The last World Cup was a tough one to swallow really.

"I think the group has moved on massively and we've got a core group now which has been under John [Kear] for a while.

"I think we can benefit from our togetherness and, hopefully, progress as far as we can in the World Cup.

"Before [the run], I hadn't won a game for Wales. I have 12 caps now and, in these last six games, we've been undefeated, so it is a great achievement what John and the coaching staff that he's brought in have done.

"The only way is forward so it's exciting times for Wales Rugby League."

Lloyd is joined in the training squad by Abertridwr's Ben Flower with the Wigan prop hoping to overcome an Achilles injury to feature.

Wales face group games against Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Fiji and Kear's squad features 20 players from last year's World Cup qualifying campaign as well as London Broncos prop Ben Evans and Castleford forward Larne Patrick who have not played since the last tournament in 2013.

Former Dragons and Bedwas forward Flower, who snapped an Achilles three months ago, and Warrington centre Rhys Evans, who has undergone shoulder surgery, are hoping to return to the fold after a four-year absence but remain serious injury doubts.

The squad comprises 12 players from Super League, nine from the Championship, 13 from League 1 and four from Australian clubs.

Wales squad: L Patrick (Castleford), Z Williams (Coventry), C Davies, S Parry, L Reece (all Gloucestershire All Golds), D Ansell (Hunslet), S Hopkins (Leigh), M Channing, B Evans, D Grant, E Kear, R Williams (all London Broncos), J Ralph (Newcastle Knights), M Barron (Newcastle Thunder), J Burke (Oldham), C Aekins, D Brown (both Penrith Panthers), A Walker (Rochdale), C Kopczak (Salford), M Fozard (Sheffield Eagles), M Evans, C Farrer, A Gay, C Roets (all South Wales), R Grace, E Jenkins, M Knowles, B Morris, C Wellington (all St Helens), R Lloyd (Swinton), J Emmitt, D Fleming (both Toronto Wolfpack), R Evans (Warrington), O Olds (West Brisbane Panthers), G Dudson, L White (both Widnes), B Flower (Wigan), P Joseph (Workington).