SCOTLAND’S success in the rugby league world cup may not have included a lot of homegrown players.
However, one player whose formative rugby years were spent in the southside did make a name for himself among rugby league’s giants, David Scott.
Although Scotland may have fallen to a New Zealand team — featuring the rugby world’s biggest star Sonny Bill Williams — on Friday, wins against Tonga and USA, as well as a 30-30 draw against Italy was a better-than-expected haul for the relative minnows.
While Scotland’s progression to the quarter finals of the rugby league world cup should prove to be a cause for celebration, it may be anything but for the Scottish Rugby Union.
Winger David Scott kept USA at bay during a critical moment in their inter-group clash, which Scotland went on to win 22-8.
The 20-year-old began his career playing union at Stirling County before moving to GHA, where, at the age of 17, he became their starting stand-off.
Paul Tyler, director of youth rugby at the Braidholm club, believes David was a massive loss for the SRU.
“I have never worked with such a focused individual person. He was hugely influential player for us, even at such a young age”, he said.
“He didn’t get selected for the Scotland under 18 squad and I think that made up his mind. Younger players who are overlooked by the SRU may now look to league as an option after seeing David’s success. As a result, rugby union in this country is at risk of a serious talent drain.
“The country does not have enough talented rugby union players, especially at stand-off, to lose a player with David’s skillset.
Mark Senter is head coach at Whitecraigs rugby club, but is equally familiar with both codes, as he is also Scotland’s rugby league development manager.
“The SRU have missed out big time. David is the epitome of what a performance player should be”, said Mark.
“Rugby league scouts tend to look for slightly different things. The game isn’t about how big you are but the core skills.
“David, as a talented, skillful ball player,is the perfect example of what the SRU need to focus on. It was always down to his size that he got overlooked.”
David recently signed with Doncaster, having spent two seasons in the Hull KR Academy. He has also played for English Championship side Featherstone Rovers and Glasgow’s Easterhouse Panthers.