Scotland coach Steve McCormack is of the opinion that the gap between British young players and their Australian counterparts is fast closing.
As well as coaching Scotland, McCormack also now works as development manager and coach of Wigan’s Under-16s.
His work means that he is in close contact with some of the country’s top youngsters, and he sees definite signs for optimism.
“The signs are very encouraging and the best young players in our game can definitely compete with Australia’s best,” McCormack told the Manchester Evening News.
“We also have the talent individually to match Australia. They might have a slight edge in terms of size and they do not panic under pressure but the gulf is very small.
“Young players are coached very well at club level. Wigan’s work with the future stars is very thorough and detailed. Standards are high but the rewards are eventually there.
“From a Wigan point of view, it is wonderful to see Oliver Gildart, Luke Waterworth and Nick Gregson currently on international duty against the touring Australian Schoolboys.
“Gildart was a stand out player in the academy ranks and he has continued to impress. Gregson and Waterworth are also lads to look out for. They played at St Patrick’s and Rose Bridge before coming to Wigan.
“Like I say, it really is no fluke that such talent continues to emerge and will continue to do so. Strong systems are in place for this to be achieved.
“The future is very bright and the talent is always going to be here.”