Kavanagh relishing World Cup atmosphere

As Scotland prepare to take on Tonga at Derwent Park tonight, it’s not only the three Workington Town players in the squad who have a connection with the club. 

While most of the local focus has been on Callum and Brett Phillips and full-back Brett Phillips, forward Kavanagh featured on dual registration in Town’s last-gasp 18-16 win at Dewsbury in mid-season thanks to the link-up in place between his Widnes side and Town.

And his sole appearance in the blue and white turned out to be one of the highlights of Town’s impressive season which saw them make the top eight in their first season in the Championship after winning promotion in 2012.

The Vikings forward also played against Town for his parent club in the Challenge Cup, and helped his side to a 36-0 win.

“There was a really good atmosphere for that Cup game and if there’s going to be five times that crowd for Scotland‘s games, then I can’t wait to sample it,” said the 25-year-old, whose grandmother hails from Edinburgh. 

“I also played one game for Town which was my first game of the season. They had plenty of decent players, and I’m sure Brett Carter and Brett Phillips won’t look out of place against Tonga.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first full season of Super League for Widnes. I snapped my Achilles in my first year [2012] and only played four games. I’ve been used as prop or loose forward and we’ve had a much better year. We could have made the top eight had it not been for a few defeats in games we should have won.”

Kavanagh is in Scotland‘s 17 for the Tonga game, and like the rest of the squad, is itching for the action to start.

“This is my first involvement with Scotland and it’s been good so far. We’ve gelled well and everyone’s up for it. If we can get off to a winning start, we should be looking at qualifying from the group.

“We’ve done video sessions on Tonga. They’re a big aggressive team with good outside backs and a good pack. They’ve a young halfback pair who we don’t know much about. 

“But we’ve got a good set of forwards too and we’re confident that we can match them. Every one of us has played Super League or NRL.”

Scotland trained at Cumbria Sports Academy in Hensingham today with the captain’s run following a short video session.

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