Scotland head coaches Chris Chester and John Duffy, and Wales supremo John Kear, have named their 19-man squads for the must-win European Championship clash at Gala tomorrow (Friday, kick off 7.30pm)
Both nations 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 – the top two nations gaining instant passage.
Chester, who worked alongside Kear at Wakefield said:
We were a bit disappointed with our performance in Dublin last weekend and are looking forward to getting back to playing at home. 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, If selected Hogg will of lined up against Wales for the third time this season having Captained the U23 Nines squad at the Commonwealth Championships in Australia and then the Student squad at the 4 Nations in Wales.
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 (both 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 (kick off 7.30pm)
Saturday 3 November
Ireland v France – Morton Stadium, Santry (kick off 2pm)
ROUND 3 –
Saturday 10 November
France v Scotland – Stade Albert Domec, Carcassone (kick off 6pm)
Sunday 11 November
Wales v Ireland – Racecourse Ground, Wrexham (kick off 3pm)