Salford’s Ryan Brierley says he would love to play at the World Cup alongside Cronulla Sharks star Nicho Hynes, who qualifies to play for Scotland.
Hynes, 25, was born and raised in Australia but also qualifies to play for Scotland through family heritage.
The half-back or full-back has made almost 50 appearances in the NRL. He began his professional career at Melbourne Storm before moving to the Sharks ahead of 2022.
Scotland international Brierley says he would love to see Hynes pledge his commitment to the Bravehearts.
Brierley told Love Rugby League: “I was looking at some of the players we could have like Nicho Hynes at Cronulla.
“If he doesn’t get picked in the Australia squad he is eligible for Scotland. It would be nice to play alongside him.”
Ryan Brierley: We can’t beat Australia but we can qualify
Brierley says it would be “ludicrous” to think they Scotland can topple Australia at the World Cup. However, he has backed his nation to qualify from a tough group.
Scotland will face the Aussies, Fiji and Italy in the autumn. Brierley admits the strength of the group will depend on the depth of NRL players who ”come out of the woodwork” for Australia’s three rivals.
He said: “We understand how tough a group it’s going to be. We can probably write the Australia game off.
“It would be ludicrous to suggest we could get a win against the best team in the world with the talent they will have in their ranks. That will be a bit of a free hit for us to try things that might work in the other games.
“With Fiji and Italy it will depend on what kind of NRL players they can get over; as I know they all come out of the woodwork for a trip away.
“It’s the same with us. Hopefully we will get some good NRL experience over from Australia as well to help us out so it should be an interesting tournament.”
Coote the number one Braveheart
Vice captain Brierley expects to play half-back at the World Cup, with his favoured full-back spot set to be occupied by Lachlan Coote.
He added: “It’s a really big year for me personally and of course for Scotland as a nation.
“I’ll be one of the senior figures having been given the vice captaincy a couple of months back which was a proud moment for me.
“I’m presuming Lachlan will play full-back. He’s one of the best there and I don’t think he’d be comfortable playing half-back. It will probably come down to me and Callum McLelland in the halves.
“We’ve got a really good group. We will be based in Newcastle which is a really good part of the UK. I hope we can get out of the group into the quarter finals.
“We have to be confident and try our best.”