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  1. ITV Report

Morgan Knowles hoping Wales can finish with a flourish

Jacob Saifiti tackled by Morgan Knowles during the Rugby League World Cup game between Fiji and Wales Credit: PA Images

Wales will be out to salvage some pride when they wrap up their World Cup campaign against Ireland in Perth on Sunday.

John Kear's men have conceded 122 points in their first two matches and back-row forward Morgan Knowles, one of Wales' shining lights, admits the players have been embarrassed by the results so far.

Knowles scored Wales' only try and was their man of the match in the 72-6 loss to Fiji.

All the boys are disappointed and embarrassed to a point... We've had a look at the video. A few things have been said and they needed to be said. But team spirit has stayed strong and we've had a good week in training.

It was always going to be tough and we've been on the wrong side of some heavy defeats. But we're playing Ireland, a northern hemisphere team, and we'll be looking to put everything into that last game to try and get a result and finish the tournament on a high.

– Morgan Knowles

Knowles, who was short-listed for Super League's young player of the year in 2017, has taken his club form into the World Cup and impressed Fiji stand-off Jarryd Hayne enough for him to seek him out after the game to swap shirts.

Kear believes a host of NRL clubs would have been clamouring to sign Knowles, who celebrated his 21st birthday the day after the Fiji game, had he not just extended his contract with his club.

Saints are very intelligent signing him for four years before he came here because, to a man, every one of the Fijian players mentioned Morgan Knowles.

He's been absolutely fantastic. For a lad who's just turned 21, his two performances have been monumental.

– John Kear, Wales coach

Meanwhile, Wales vice-captain Elliot Kear is confident his side can match Ireland up front after being out-muscled in both their previous games.

Wales haven't had a win since 2000 so we want to break that bad run.

We're looking for a result and to just be a bit more competitive. We knew the first two games were going to be really physical and they were.

We've done our review on Ireland and we don't think they're going to be as physical as Fiji and Papua New Guinea but they still play with a lot of intensity.

– Elliot Kear, Wales vice-captain

Wales have been given permission to make a late change to their 19-man squad, bringing in Australia-based half-back Josh Ralph for what would be his debut after losing Matt Seamark and Danny Ansell to injury and illness.