Scotland Rugby League have selected 23 players for the Student World Cup in Australia this summer and will begin their preparations with a training day at UCLan in Preston this Sunday. The squad includes Scotland full international centres Scott Plumridge of Edinburgh Eagles, who won the 2016 Student Player of the Year award, and club-mate Finlay Hutchison who studies at Newcastle University.
Plumridge’s older brother Jack, a hooker studying at Strathclyde University, is also included, one of six students from Scottish seats of learning. Scottish champions Aberdeen Warriors provide two players and Edinburgh Eagles three, with props Scott Derrick from Easterhouse Panthers and Niall Hall from Strathmore Silverbacks.
Head coach Nathan Graham, the former Bradford Bulls full-back and Scotland RL captain, has kept spaces open for several players who are recovering from injury, with Oxford’s Jack Elliott promised a spot if he returns to full fitness in time.
Eight of the squad have come through the Scotland RL player pathway – the Plumridge brothers, Hutchison, Aberdeen’s Damien Genocchio, Archie Andrade, Matt Hogg from North Berwick, Strathmore’s Niall Hall and Easterhouse Panther Scott Derrick – with six players stepping up from last year’s Under-19s. 2015 Under-19 Player of the Year Luke Walters also makes the cut.
The squad was chosen from two Development Days in Edinburgh and Preston, with over 50 players attending. The quality of Scottish-based players was considered by the coaching and management team as the best they had seen.
There are three Australian-based players in the squad, including Luke Westman, a second row forward who lives in Wollongong, and travelled with his mother and Glaswegian grandmother to play for the Under 19’s last September, when they visited his family roots in Glasgow.
Scotland are proud to have sent teams to every single Student World Cup since the first one in 1989.
Scotland Student squad:Archie Andrade (Maltings College, Halifax/Halifax ERA); Doug Chirnside (Oxford Brookes University); Mark Cordeaux (Sheffield University); Scott Derrick (Edinburgh College/Easterhouse Panthers); Mike Dowding (Loughborough University); Jordan Duncan (SRUC Elmwood/Aberdeen Warriors); Justin Faughlin (Yallah TAFE/Dapto Canaries); Liam Faughlin (University of Newcastle/Maitland Pickers); Ethan Flowers (Wakefield College/Castleford Lock Lane); George Geddes (Brunel University); Damien Genocchio (University of Glasgow/Aberdeen Warriors); Niall Hall (Abertay University/Strathmore); Scott Harrison (Northumbria University); Matt Hogg (Newcastle University/Edinburgh Eagles); Finlay Hutchison (University of Newcastle/ Edinburgh Eagles); Jack Plumridge (Strathclyde University); Scott Plumridge (Edinburgh College/Edinburgh Eagles); Gavin Reed (Leeds Trinity University/Dewsbury Celtic); Dan Turland (Northumbria University/Newcastle Thunder); Luke Walters (Leeds Beckett University/Sherwood Wolfhunt); Luke Westman (Illawarra TAFE/Berkeley RLFC); Toby Williams (Northumbria University). Subject to fitness: Jack Elliot (Oxford Brookes University/Oxford RL).