Young Scots set for Ireland
Saturday 15 October 2011
Scotland will field their youngest ever team when they launch the autumn European triangular series against Ireland at Scotstoun, Glasgow, tomorrow.
Hit by a series of withdrawals, coach Steve McCormack has turned to the young domestic talent progressing through Scotland's player performance pathway.
Among the new caps are Hull KR teenager David Scott, who learned the game with Easterhouse Panthers in Glasgow's East End, Hull FC's Paisley-born winger Crawford Matthews and the Edinburgh Eagles trio of Giles Lomax, Callum Cockburn and Paddy Coupar.
"We've never had this many domestic players in the squad before and, although bigger names are missing, these lads have earned their chance," said McCormack, taking charge of Scotland for an eighth campaign.
"They have all come through our system. That is a massive step forward for Scotland and this will be a fabulous opportunity for them to see what playing at senior international level is all about.
"It's the most exciting chapter in Scotland's history in my opinion."
Scotland enjoyed a record 42-22 victory over Ireland last year but, with Danny Brough switching his allegiance to England, Ben Fisher undergoing surgery and Brendon Lindsay retired, McCormack has been forced to find a new creative midfield.
Andrew Henderson takes over at hooker and Lee Paterson forms a new half-back partnership with John Duffy.
Ireland coach Mark Aston, who has taken over from Andy Kelly, has named nine uncapped players in his first squad, which also includes seven players from this year's domestic competition as he builds towards the 2013 World Cup.
The new faces include recent St Helens recruits Ian Cross and Aaron McCloskey and Tonga-born Lemeki Vunipulu, while Warrington loose forward Tyrone McCarthy returns after missing out last season through injury.
Sheffield Eagles winger Tim Bergin will miss his first match in two season as he serves a ban handed out for his involvement in a brawl in the recent Championship Grand Final.
Eagles boss Aston has been able to call on the player who crushed his Grand Final dreams, Ireland's record pointscorer Liam Finn, who posted 20 points for Featherstone in a 40-4 success.
Having recently been awarded full member status of the Rugby League International Federation, the Celtic nations will be meeting in a recognised Test match for the first time.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments