Rugby League World Cup: One true Scott hoping to prolong fairy tale against holders New Zealand

David Scott is the one born-and-raised Scot in the squad that has amazed the Rugby League World Cup by reaching the quarter-finals

If you listen very carefully and the wind outside the Scotland team's hotel in Leeds is blowing in the right direction, you can hear a Scots accent.

Not only that, you can hear David Scott's accent, because the 20-year-old from Stirling is the one born-and-raised Scot in the squad that has amazed the Rugby League World Cup by reaching the quarter-finals against the holders New Zealand at Headingley; it's the man who puts the Scott into Scotland.

Playing on the wing against the formidable Kiwis at Headingley may seem like mission impossible, minnows against world champions, but it is the stuff of dreams for Scott. "To think I'll be on the pitch with Sonny Bill Williams and Isaac Luke," he says, wide-eyed.

But for him, Scotland might not be there at all. An hour into a final group game they had to win, the United States' Matt Petersen was on his way to a try in the corner that would have put them ahead. Scott lined him up and hit him with everything, knocking him into touch and dislodging the ball. It was a spectacular tackle. "It changed the game," says the Scotland coach, Steve McCormack. "But he's been fantastic ever since he came into the squad, which is why he'll be starting against New Zealand."

Scott got into rugby union with the local club in Stirling at the age of seven because his brother was playing. On television, though, he saw another brand of rugby. "I just thought, 'What a great game', and wanted to get involved with it. I managed to contact the Scottish Rugby League and they steered me towards the Easterhouse Panthers," he says.

"I was still playing union as well and looking for a contract with either game. Hull KR had a partnership with the Scottish league at the time. They came to watch, fortunately I had a good game and they signed me."

Originally a half-back, Scott made the switch to the outside backs when a winger got injured at Rovers and he was the only back on the bench. First-team opportunities were limited, however, there and on loan at Featherstone. Next season, he will be at Doncaster, while continuing with his degree at Hull University.

"I think I was brought into the World Cup squad for the experience and, hopefully, my inclusion will encourage other Scottish youngsters to try the game, because if they did they would love it like I do," he says.

Scott is not the only player in the squad born north of the border. Full-back Matty Russell was born in Irvine but brought up in Wigan and he too has been a revelation. There would have been another, if the Newcastle Knights' winger James McManus had not broken his foot before the tournament. He was joint-leading try-scorer in Australia's NRL last season, so his loss was a major blow. But it is his boots Scott is effectively filling. "It was unfortunate for Scotland but fortunate for me," Scott says.

Scott may be making a name for himself at this tournament but he is about to come up against some very well-known players, such as Manu Vatuvei and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. With respect to Petersen, it's a different ball game. "The way I read it is that it's 13 men against 13 men. We just have to go out there and play with pride and passion. That's what people have done so far, whether they qualify through their grandmother, grandfather or whatever," Scott says.

As the one fully qualified kilt-wearer, though, he finds himself in an anomalous situation. "Here I am playing for Scotland and I've still got everyone ripping into me for my Scots accent," he says.

"In an ideal world, there'd be more like him," says McCormack. "But there are some coming through."

For now, though, Scott carries the banner single-handedly. Realistically, the great adventure he has been proud to be a part of should end when the World Cup holders get their hands on them, but he relishes the sheer unlikelihood of it all.

"It's a great challenge to go out and play against the world's best. They're world champions and that's for a reason. But rather than us being worried about them, they should be worried about us."

Suggested Topics
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
News
news
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
Life and Style
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on