Rising stars of NRL to kilt up
SEVEN uncapped players will take the field for Scotland when they play the NSW Country Under-23s rugby league team at Kingsford Smith Park, Ballina, on Friday night.
Injuries have ruled out NRL trio Lachlan Coote, Kane Linnett and Peter Wallace, with coach Steve McCormack selecting up-and-coming talents from the NRL and stalwarts of the Scotland scene.
Coote and Linnett played in the North Queensland Cowboys grand final team while Wallace also played in the NRL finals with the Penrith Panthers.
Yamba product and former Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks front-rower Luke Douglas is set to play.
"It is a young squad but that's exciting, too,” McCormack said.
"We've got a big group of players - the likes of Danny Brough, Luke Douglas and Matty Russell, who I know well and trust.
"They have always been there for Scotland and given it their all. I know they will do that again and their experience is going to be vital to help the young lads.
"We're under no illusions how tough it's going to be, but I also know it's going to be fantastic.”
Former NRRRL president Brian Rix is hoping supporters turn out to see Scotland in their final game before the Rugby League World Cup.
Rix is a director of NSW Country Rugby League and lobbied for the World Cup warm-up game to come to Ballina.
"It's hard to get high-profile games to the country, but people have to support it,” he said.
The Northern Rivers Regional Rugby League women's premiers Byron Bay will take on the Group 2 Ladies League Tag premiers Coffs Harbour while Group 1 and Group 18 go head-to-head in an under-16s trial for the Northern Rivers Country Championship side.
The women play at 4.30pm with the main game at 7pm.