Scotland build for 2016 with Gala date with Ireland

Scotland Rugby League are slowly building the intensity of their preparations for the 2016 Four Nations, when they will go up against Australia, New Zealand the ‘Auld Enemy’ England.

Dates and venues for Scotland‘s 2015 European Championship campaign have been confirmed, and the Scots will once again play a home fixture at Galashiels, in the rugby union heartland of the Borders.

Ireland will be the visitors to Gala RFC’s Netherdale ground on Friday October 23, while the Scots will open their campaign with a trip to Wrexham to face Wales on October 16.

They end their campaign with a trip to Avignon to play France on November 7.

“We are very pleased to be staging our European Championship fixture against Ireland at one of the best known rugby grounds in Scotland,” said Keith Hogg, chair of Scotland Rugby League.

“The Netherdale ground at Galashiels is known throughout rugby and it is fitting that we return there and to the Scottish Borders.

“Gala RFC are great people to work with and they helped us put on a great event when we played France there last October. We had over 1500 people watching the game and we are hoping to attract even more for the Ireland game.

“The support from rugby fans in the Borders is fantastic and we look forward to putting on another great spectacle this year.”

Scotland head coach Steve McCormack and his assistant Dave Rotheram have also visited Australia in recent weeks, spending time with the New South Wales squad as they prepared for their victory over Queensland at the MCG.

They also visited several top Australian clubs, as they look to intensify preparations for the Four Nations.

The 2015 European Championship is an important chance for players to stake a claim for Four Nations places, McCormack has confirmed.

“Places in the Four Nations squad are up for grabs,” he said.

“A lot of players performed superbly well last year as we won the Europeans for the first time.

They will have a chance to prove they deserve a place against the best in the world and there will be some serious competition for places from players injured last year, and those who’ve come on a lot this season.

“Last year was amazing at Gala [when Scotland played France].

“We looked dead and buried at half-time but the crowd got behind us and roared us home. Netherdale was rocking that night and I can’t wait to get back there and do it again.”

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