Scotland will field their youngest ever side when they face Ireland in tomorrow’s RLEF Autumn Series opening fixture at Scotstoun in Glasgow.
Having lost a number of players from last season’s squad – not least Danny Brough – coach Steve McCormack has turned to younger domestic players to represent their country.
The three-way RLEF series also include France, who face the Scots at Stade Gilbert Brutus in two weeks’ time.
McCormack has called up Glaswegian David Scott, currently at Hull KR, Paisley-born Crawford Matthws, currently at Hull FC, and Edinburgh Eagles trio Giles Lomax, Callum Cockburn and Paddy Coupar.
Lee Paterson and John Duffy will be partnered at half-back while Andrew Henderson takes over at hooker.
“We’ve never had this many domestic players in the squad before and, although bigger names are missing, these lads have earned their chance,” said McCormack.
“They have all come through our system. That is a massive step forward for Scotland and this will be a fabulous opportunity for them to see what playing at senior international level is all about.
“It’s the most exciting chapter in Scotland‘s history in my opinion.”
Both Scotland and Ireland have recently been given full member status of the RL International Federation, and this fixture will be the first time they meet in an officially-recognised Test match.
Ireland coach Mark Aston has named nine uncapped players in his squad, including recent St Helens recruits Ian Cross and Aaron McCloskey, as well as five others from Ireland’s domestic league.
Warrington’s Tyrone McCarthy returns having missed last season’s internationals through injury, while Featherstone’s Liam Finn Ireland’s top points-scorer, will be a key player.
RLEF Autumn International Series:
Sunday 16th October:
Scotland v Ireland (Scotstoun, 2pm)
Saturday 29th October:
France v Scotland (Stade Gilbert Brutus, 3pm)
Saturday 5th November:
Ireland v France (Thomond Park, 5pm)