Scotland select seven uncapped players in World Cup squad
Last Updated: 11/10/17 6:23pm
Scotland have named seven uncapped players in their World Cup squad including brothers Kane and Andrew Bentley, who have previously played for France.
Long-serving coach Steve McCormack will take the youngest ever Scotland squad to a World Cup, with three 20-year-olds - Brandan Wilkinson, Jarred Anderson and Kieran Moran - facing a baptism of fire in a group containing the Pacific heavyweights Tonga and Samoa as well as co-hosts New Zealand.
The Bravehearts held the Kiwis to an 18-18 draw in their last match, a dramatic Four Nations clash in Workington last November, but will have just 10 survivors from that game following a spate of withdrawals.
Already without Leeds prop Keith Galloway, St George Illawarra centre Euan Aitken and Penrith hooker Peter Wallace, Scotland have lost the services of NRL Grand Finalists Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett with ankle and elbow injuries as well as Leigh hooker Liam Hood, who needs a knee operation.
They are also hit by the absence of former Hull KR prop Adam Walker, who was withdrawn from the train-on squad after testing positive for cocaine, while centre Joe Wardle is unavailable for family reasons, having just returned from Australia to join Castleford.
New Zealand Warriors forward James Bell and Penrith three-quarter Lachlan Stein are among the new faces, while McCormack can call on Super League experience in the shape of wingers Matthew Russell and Lewis Tierney, St Helens prop Luke Douglas and skipper Danny Brough, Scotland's most-capped player.
"It is a young squad but that's exciting, too," said McCormack. "When we took our youngest ever team to play in France two years ago, I said some of them would be on the plane to Australia and a lot of them will be on Sunday.
"We've got a big group of players - the likes of Brough, Douglas, Addy, Matty Russell, Kav - 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."
Scotland fly to Brisbane on Sunday and play New South Wales Country on October 20 to prepare for their opening pool B game against Tonga in Cairns on October 29.
Scotland squad: Alex Walker, Ben Hellewell (both London Broncos), Andrew Bentley, Kane Bentley (both Toulouse), Danny Addy, Ben Kavanagh, Kieran Moran (all Hull KR), Brandan Wilkinson, Oscar Thomas (both Bradford), Callum Phillips (Workington), Danny Brough (c), Dale Ferguson (both Huddersfield), David Scott (Batley), Frankie Mariano (Featherstone), James Bell (New Zealand Warriors), Jarred Anderson (Sydney Roosters), Johnny Walker (Darlington Point Roosters), Lachlan Stein (Penrith Panthers), Lewis Tierney (Wigan), Luke Douglas (St Helens), Matthew Russell (Warrington), Ryan Brierley (Toronto Wolfpack), Sam Brooks (Featherstone), Shane Toal (Barrow).