Three born-and-bred Scottish players have been named in the Great Britain Students Rugby League squad to play France and Australia. Ardrossan�s Brian Hendry, Dougie Flockhart from Heriot Watt University Edinburgh and Calum Anderson of Peebles have all been selected for GB Students, despite playing in the Scotland Under-19 side at the Student RL Championships rather than the seniors event.
Second row forward Hendry, who attends Murrayhouse Institute of Sport in Edinburgh, has already played first team rugby league for Workington Town this season, winger Flockhart of Border Raiders RLFC has been in outstanding form in the championships, scoring five tries against Wales Under-19s but still ending on the losing side, and Anderson is the 16-year-old brother of Scotland Student internationals David and Donald Anderson, all three products of Peebles High School.
All three players selected for Great Britain have already represented Scotland at Student and A team level as teenagers, despite having very little rugby league experience.
�I�m sure all three of these lads can make it as professional rugby league players,� said Scotland Students coach Ian Gilmour. �They were head and shoulders above the rest of the players on the pitch in Wales and they have what it takes. When you consider that they have only played a dozen or so games of League each, it makes you realise what potential there is in Scotland. There are players here if the English clubs can be bothered to come and look and put some effort in with them. Scotland Rugby League are proud that we have produced these players through our Under-19 and Students programme. Calum�s only 16 � imagine what he�s going to be like at 19?!�
SCOTLAND LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE:
Despite losing every game they played in the Under-19 Championships, Scotland�s management remained upbeat in south Wales. Scotland had expected to challenge for the title but after controversial last minute 34-28 defeat to the hosts on Friday, they went down 36-18 to England on Sunday at Dunvent and were well beaten, 46-6 by a strong professional France Under-18 Academy side on Tuesday.
�It was too much physically for the boys,� admitted coach Al Stewart. �It�s too much to ask for them to play three games in five days, although the score line flattered France somewhat. The fact that we�ve had three players called up for Great Britain shows how competitive we really were.�
SCOTLAND Under-19s Pointscorers:
V WALES � Tries: Dougie Flockhart (Edinburgh) 5, Richard Brown (Glasgow). Goals: Donald Anderson, Callum Anderson (both Peebles).
V ENGLAND � Tries: Martin Lowe (Leyland) 2, Bobby Bahadori (Huddersfield), Gary Thornton (Hamilton). Goal: Donald Anderson (Peebles).
V FRANCE � Tries: Bobby Bahadori (Huddersfield). Goal: Donald Anderson (Peebles).
STUDENTS BEATEN BUT DETERMINED TO IMPROVE;
Scotland Students matched the Under-19s unwanted record by losing all three games in the Home Nations Championships but remained determined to improve as the season progresses. Playing their first games together as a team, Scotland lost 30-18 to Wales in the opening game at Aberavon on Friday, then were hammered 54-10 by England at Bridgend on Easter Monday, after Scotland had trailed just 12-6 after half an hour. Dan Gordon and Jordan Ingram got the consolation tries with Niall McDonald kicking a goal.
Scotland then contrived to lose 34-26 to Ireland on Wednesday despite leading 20-10 soon after half-time.
�We could have beaten Wales but we should have beaten Ireland,� said frustrated coach Ian Gilmour. �We didn�t have the mental toughness you need and we were na�ve. We lack experience � we�ve got lads who�d not played three games of Rugby League before coming here suddenly playing three games in a week, while Ireland have been training every week for eight months for this! But this is the start of the season for us and we are looking forward to improving as we go along, with the trip to Holland yet to come.�