Written by Stuart McLennan
Scotland Head Coach Nathan Graham has named a 20 man squad for the match against Jamaica this Sunday at Millenium Stadium in Featherstone.
The squad contains six possible debutants, including former Scotland rugby union under 20s representative Guy Graham, but the Bravehearts will be without former NRL players Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett who are both unavailable due to injury.
It will be the first time the Scottish national side has had a hit out since they defeated Greece 42-24 in a World Cup qualifying match in November 2019. Graham told Everything Rugby League it has been frustrating not being able to get the team together for such a long period.
“Not being able to train together and play over the last eighteen months/couple of years has been really frustrating as you want to get people together as much as possible to get your systems right and have a look at new people. The only blessing is that Jamaica are in the same situation, with the exception that they are a game ahead of us having played last weekend.
“Jamaica played against a very talented England Knights team. Obviously they will have been disappointed with how the game went and the result and they’ll be looking to put things right on Sunday. I expect it to be a very competitive game.”
Graham is confident the culture within his squad which includes experienced campaigners Danny Addy (18 caps), Captain Dale Ferguson (13 caps) and Vice-Captain Ryan Brierley (7 caps) will be the key to on field success in Featherstone.
“Scotland teams have always had a great work ethic and a massive team bond. The strengths of this group are that there are some very experienced campaigners that are used to playing on the international stage. Coupled with that is the youth and enthusiasm that six potential debutants bring.”
The coach declined to reveal where Scotland has the advantage over the Reggae Warriors side, instead saying the Bravehearts will focus on implementing what they have been working on at training.
“Having looked at last weekend’s game there are a few things that we hope to get them on, but for me it’s more about us going well as a group and putting into place the things that we have practiced over the last few weeks.”
With the tournament being postponed until October 2022 Graham said the march will be an opportunity to run his eye over the squad with World Cup spots up for grabs.
“The boys in this squad have their first chance to impress with regard to next year’s World Cup. As our sessions intensify building up to the game I’ll be interested to see which characters stand up and make a claim for their place next year.”
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