Scotland RL is currently concentrating on primary school programmes in large cities where rugby union is not established, building programmes in local secondary schools, and supporting clubs that as well as a senior team have a youth section. The programme is concentrated on Glasgow and Edinburgh, with the long term goal to have rugby league played from U8’s through to senior level, with the early signs positive.
At international level, Scotland run two youth programmes, at U16 and U19 level. Both are very much about an introduction to rugby league for those who have not played the game before and the development of the player on and off the pitch. The U16 programme was reintroduced in 2017, and they are set to face Wales for the first time later this month. The U19’s play a number of matches each summer as well as participating in the bi-annual European Championships.
A season-long injury playing with UK Super League side Hull Kingston Rovers has given Scottish full international Danny Addy the opportunity to take his first step on the coaching ladder with the young Bravehearts, his cosmopolitan squad containing six players from Edinburgh Eagles.
“We can’t wait to get to Belgrade, we’ve had some great development sessions in Scotland and I’ve been really pleased with how hard the players have worked and their desire to improve,” Addy noted. “We’ve got a really mixed squad with a few lads from Super League Academies and others who have only just started to play. It’s great that we have a healthy number from the Scotland domestic game.
“Our first opponents Ireland are always good, competitive and that has shown when we’ve played them through all the age groups. They’ll have lads in the same situation as us but we’ve been preparing for this tournament since November so we’re confident that the guys can represent themselves.
SCOTLAND U19 SQUAD
Elliot Campbell (Barrow Island), Liam Punton (Bradford Bulls), Frankie Armstrong, Timmy Kennedy, Jamie McCabe, Sean McKervail, Gregor Mitchell, Alex Williams (Edinburgh Eagles), Daniel May (Halifax Elite Rugby Academy), Clem Harrison (London Skolars), Charlie Emslie, Connor Terrill (Millom RLFC), Callum Kennedy, Chris Paterson (Newcastle Thunder), Fergus Simpson (Newcastle Thunder/Edinburgh Eagles), Jack McMillan (Queensbury ARLFC), Euan Caldwell, Connall McDonagh (Strathmore Silverbacks), Archie Andrade, Iain Oakley (Wakefield Trinity), Adam Hay (Wallsend Eagles)