In what was their 25th year, Scotland Rugby League are celebrating a very encouraging 2019 for the sport, culminating with victories over Serbia and Greece to secure qualification for the 2021 Men’s World Cup.
The domestic game saw more progress as Scotland added teams at men’s and youth level and even celebrated success in England when Edinburgh Eagles won the North East Rugby League Grand Final defeating Jarrow Vikings in a nail-biting Golden Point finish.
The wheelchair season had Dundee playing in the development league and the national team, captained by a woman for the first time ever when Jay Anderson captained Scotland to success against Ireland Exiles in the Celtic Cup.
Scotland Students finished second in the Home Nations and gave the favourites, England a huge fright in the final game of the competition.
There was continued growth at youth level as the Under 16 and Under 19 squads both visited and hosted Ireland. The Under 19’s played a series of other fixtures including a 12 all draw with England Lions, all of which is building towards the 2020 European Under 19 Championships.
We are looking forward with anticipation to the 2020 season with our national development manager, James Sloggie in place and already active in schools. There is a plan to launch a Scotland women’s team, continue to grow the youth game, further support and develop the club competitions and, of course, focus on the planning and preparation for Rugby League World Cup 2021 where we will feature in both the men’s and the wheelchair competitions.
Chair, Keith Hogg has enjoyed 2019 and is looking forward to 2020.
“2019 has been a very encouraging year for rugby league in Scotland.
“My personal highlights from this season would be watching Edinburgh Eagles incredibly exciting golden point win against Jarrow Vikings in the North East League Grand Final; trying to keep the water, Lucozade Sport and jelly babies flowing for the wheelchair team as they came back from a large half time deficit to win their Celtic Cup match against Ireland; the development of the Scotland Under 16’s and seeing the excitement on the players faces after their win against Ireland at Kingston Park; watching the Under 19’s come so close to defeating the England Lions with a magnificent, committed team effort that really summed up all that we are about (final score 12 – 12); and finally the effort and commitment from all the players and staff that saw us through against a strong and talented Greek team in the Men’s World Cup Qualifier.
“With the announcement of the launch of the women’s team in January and with James and his team of community coaches making great progress in the right secondary schools and more volunteers being willing to support our clubs we are in the best shape we have been for some time.”