Scotland and Wales name squads for European Championship crunch clash

Drew Darbyshire

Scotland and Wales have named their 19-man squads for Friday’s must-win European Championship clash at Gala.

If you can’t make it to Galashiels on Friday night, you can watch the game live on the BBC Sport website at 7:30pm.

The Bravehearts and Dragons suffered opening round defeats, to Ireland and France respectively, and if they are to attain automatic qualification to the 2021 Rugby League World Cup in England, have to emerge victorious to stay on the trail, with the top two nations gaining instant passage.

“We were a bit disappointed with our performance in Dublin last weekend and are looking forward to getting back to playing at home,” said Scotland coach Chris Chester, who worked alongside Wales boss John Kear at Wakefield.

“We have made a number of changes to the squad and the boys are clearly benefitting from a bit more time together.

“We’re anticipating a close, exciting game and it’s great to have a number of local Scottish lads looking good in training and ready to go on Friday.”

Craig Robertson and Matt Hogg are in line for possible debuts for the Bravehearts.

Kear acknowledged: “We’re expecting another tough match against Scotland, but we’re hoping to improve in some of the areas that let us down against France and get a result in Galashiels.

“Scotland also lost their opening match so I’m sure they’ll want to get up and running. Our squad is young and I’ve no doubt that matches like last weekend’s against France will benefit the players.

“They’re all hungry to play and qualify for the next World Cup.”

Scotland 19-man squad: David Scott (Batley Bulldogs), Frankie Mariano (Doncaster RL), Craig Borthwick, Lewis Clarke, Finn Hutchison, Craig Robertson (Edinburgh Eagles), Ben Kavanagh (Halifax RL), Will Oakes (Hull KR), Billy McConnachie (Ipswich Jets), Davey Dixon (Keighley Cougars), Nick Glohe (Lakes United RLFC), Sam Luckley (Newcastle Thunder), Matt Hogg (Newcastle University/Edinburgh Eagles), James Bell (New Zealand Warriors), Oscar Thomas (Sheffield Eagles), Murray Mitchell (Strathmore Silverbacks), Ryan Brierley (Toronto Wolfpack), Kane Bentley (Toulouse), Oliver Wilkes (Workington Town).

Wales 19-man squad: Dalton Grant (Bradford Bulls), Josh Ralph (Easts Tigers), Chester Butler, Connor Davies, Curtis Davies, Dan Fleming, Sion Jones (Halifax), Ben Evans, Elliot Kear, Rhys Williams (London Broncos), Elliott Jenkins (Rochdale Hornets), Gavin Bennion (Salford Red Devils), Ben Morris (St Helens), Mike Butt, Rhodri Lloyd (Swinton Lions), Courtney Davies (unattached), James Olds (West Brisbane Panthers), Morgan Evans, Steve Parry (West Wales Raiders).

European Championship 2018 fixtures:

Round 2 – 

Friday 2 November

Scotland v Wales – Gala RFC, Galashiels (7:30pm)

Saturday 3 November

Ireland v France – Morton Stadium, Santry (2pm)

Round 3 –

Saturday 10 November

France v Scotland – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (6pm)

Sunday 11 November

Wales v Ireland – Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (3pm)