Rugby Union: Quinnell ready to play for Wales

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Richmond 54 London Scottish 13

It looks as if one of rugby union's many disputes is on the verge of being resolved. Scott Quinnell, who has been involved in a financial wrangle with Wales, should soon find himself in the squad preparing for the Test against Australia in Cardiff on 1 December.

The Richmond No 8, who won nine caps before switching codes and joining Wigan in 1994, confirmed things are on the verge of being sorted out after his side's comfortable victory over their Athletic Ground co-tenants London Scottish.

"I'm sure it will shortly be resolved," the 24-year-old said. I love Wales. I'd like to run out at the Arms Park again."

But he also has his sights set on higher things. A return to the Wales fold would simply be a precursor to Quinnell's ultimate dream of becoming, like his father Derek before him, a Lion. "I'd love to play for the Lions. It's every rugby union player's dream. It's the pinnacle of the game."

The Second Division match was most certainly not that. Some high-powered personalities were in the stand, Linford Christie for one. But no one could blame if he were vaguely disappointed with what he saw. Likewise the Scotland coach, Richie Dixon, and the Wales selectors, Terry Cobner and Geoff Evans.

The match coincided with a partial eclipse of the sun, and that was precisely what the result was - a partial eclipse. Richmond, for all their superiority, only half did the job. Against sharper, more disciplined sides they would have been well punished for their numerous unforced errors and wasted opportunities.

As it was the Exiles, bravely as they battled, suffered the same fate as their four pipers. The quartet was there to celebrate, with a skirl, any points scored. A sound idea but no competition for Richmond's disco- technique of playing Roy Orbison's "It's Over" with each successful kick and Gary Glitter's "Rock 'n' Roll" after every try.

While few sides will be able to live with Richmond in this division, the step up - were they to make it - will be an entirely different matter.

Cobner was still left with a smile on his face by the performance, not only of Scott Quinnell, but also that of his younger brother, Craig, at lock and in particular Alan Bateman, another player returning to union from league.

Bateman's quality in the centre was diamond hard. His lines of running devastating, his pace and strength shattering. He explodes into space and out of the tackle and afterwards Cobner left no one in any doubt that there will be one or three additions to the Wales squad to play Australia.

"I thought Alan was a class act," said Cobner, the Wales director of rugby, while also confirming that Scott's hiccup with the Welsh Rugby Union was almost sorted out. "I anticipate that Scott's problems will be cleared up very shortly and my hope is that Alan Bateman and the Quinnells will be added to the squad that is preparing to play Australia."

Richmond: Tries Bateman 2, Fallon 2, S Quinnell, Mason, Davies; Conversions Mason 5; Penalties Mason 3.

London Scottish: Try Millard; Conversion Steele; Penalties Steele 2

Richmond: S Mason; J Fallon, A Bateman, S Cottrell, M Hutton; A Davies, A Moore; D McFarland, B Moore, D Crompton, C Quinnell (L Jones, 75), R West, B Clarke (capt), R Leach, S Quinnell.

London Scottish: N Robinson (J Hamilton 38-44); T Watson, E Rayner, M Furnley, G Turner; J Steele, D Millard; J Baird, J McLelland, P Burnell, S Griffiths, A Jackson, M Duthie, S Holmes (capt), C Tarbuck.

Referee: J Wallis (Somerset).

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