Lachlan Coote, talks to RLWC2021 about his pride in representing his grandma’s heritage, his excitement for RLWC2021 and the special atmosphere that British fans create.
Lachlan Coote, a Super League and NRL Grand Final winner, has many career highlights. After representing Penrith Panthers and North Queensland Cowboys in Australia, the 30-year-old now plies his trade in England with current champions, St Helens.
After missing out on RLWC2017, the three-time Scotland international is eager to take his chance at this year’s tournament.
“As a player, I’m really excited about playing in the World Cup – I missed the last one due to injury and other circumstances, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there and putting on that Scotland jersey again,” explains Coote, who is confident of his side’s ability to pick up points at RLWC2021.
“We’re building and we’ve got a good squad. With the games coming up, we can definitely win some of them.”
Though born in Australia, Coote holds great pride in representing his Scottish heritage, passed down to him by his grandma who moved to Australia aged 17. The full-back relishes the opportunity to represent his family history.
The last time I put on a Scotland jersey was in the Four Nations in England and I loved every minute. I loved singing the national anthem, which was one of those goosebump moments. I’m really looking forward to getting there [RLWC2021] and rocking up in my kilt.
“When we played the Four Nations, the first game we played was Australia. It was a weird feeling when the national anthems came on, but I was proud as punch to stand there and sing the Scotland [national] anthem against the Australia one. I felt at home next to the boys and part of the team. Flying the Scotland flag, I felt proud.”
Coote recounts a training camp in the Scottish capital with great delight. A time he used to learn more about his adopted nation.
To go and put on the Scotland jersey, and spend two weeks in camp in Edinburgh, it really meant a lot to me to go and experience what Scotland has to give. We saw some sights; I love the history; it was awesome to experience what my grandma had been brought up with. I now know a lot about Scotland, I’m very proud and privileged to put that jersey on.
Since arriving in England, the Bravehearts star has played at some of the nation’s finest venues. At RLWC2021, he will have the chance to add two more to his list as the Scots’ Group A schedule includes fixtures against Italy and Fiji at Newcastle’s Kingston Park, separated by a trip to Coventry’s Ricoh Arena to face defending champions, Australia.
“It will be good to go up to Newcastle and experience the stadium there; I’ve played in some great stadiums in England but not these ones and I’m sure they won’t disappoint. Ricoh looks awesome – I’m going to be excited to play in front of fans there.”
Although the St Helens back enjoys playing in grand stadiums, he also recognises that it’s the fans that make the British atmosphere so unique.
“Even when you run out to warm-up, you’ve got the fans singing all their songs and that’s what I’ve loved about playing in England. You get goosebumps and the hair on the back of your neck stands up, even during warm-up.”
As RLWC2021 edges closer, Coote describes what fans new and old should expect from international Rugby League’s pinnacle event.
“It’s a brutal game; it’s entertaining, there’s the best players from all around the world, you’re going to see some exciting Rugby League played.”
“All the quality Rugby League players coming together in one tournament; Rugby League is entertaining but bring the best players in the world together in one showcase, I can’t think of any reason why you wouldn’t’ want to watch it.”
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This is the year of the Rugby League World Cup 2021
The Rugby League World Cup is taking place between the 23 October – 27 November this autumn and is the pinnacle of international Rugby League, globally contested every four years. RLWC2021 will be a breakthrough moment in the tournament’s history with the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being staged together for the first time.
The three tournaments will take place in 21 venues across 18 host towns and cities in England. Both the women’s and wheelchair competitions will be contested by two groups of four teams, whilst the men’s tournament will see 16 teams compete across four groups.
RLWC2021 will be the most visible Rugby League event in history with all 61 games in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair competitions being broadcast live on the BBC.
Mission: Delivering the biggest and best ever Rugby League World Cup.
Vision: Creating inspirational moments that excite, engage and leave a long-lasting positive social impact.