12 Oct 2017

Scotland name rookies in World Cup team

12:02 pm on 12 October 2017

Scotland have named seven uncapped players in their World Cup squad including young Warriors forward and Maori representative James Bell.

James Bell - Junior Warrior

James Bell Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Bell, who made his NRL debut with the Warriors this year, has a Scottish grandfather.

Scotland fly to Brisbane on Sunday to prepare for their opening pool B game against Tonga in Cairns on October 29.

They will play New Zealand on November 4 in Christchurch.

Long-serving Scottish coach Steve McCormack will take the youngest ever Scotland squad to a World Cup, with three 20-year-olds - Brandan Wilkinson (Bradford), Jarred Anderson (Sydney Roosters) and Kieran Moran (Hull KR) - facing a baptism of fire in a group containing Tonga, Samoa and New Zealand.

Scotland's Bravehearts hold the Kiwis to an 18-all draw in 2016

Scotland's Bravehearts hold the Kiwis to an 18-all draw in 2016 Photo: © Photosport Ltd 2016 www.photosport.nz

The Bravehearts held the Kiwis to an 18-all 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 injured North Queensland pair Lachlan Coote and Kane Linnett.

They are also hit by the absence of former Hull KR prop Adam Walker, who was withdrawn from the train-on squad after testing positive for cocaine, while centre Joe Wardle is unavailable for family reasons, having just returned from Australia to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.

Warriors forward James Bell and Penrith's Lachlan Stein are among the new faces, while McCormack can call on Super League experience in the shape of wingers Matthew Russell, Lewis Tierney and former Cronulla and Gold Coast prop Luke Douglas.

"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.

Scotland: Alex Walker, Ben Hellewell (both London Broncos), Andrew Bentley, Kane Bentley (Toulouse), Danny Addy, Ben Kavanagh, Kieran Moran (Hull KR), Brandan Wilkinson, Oscar Thomas ( Bradford), Callum Phillips (Workington), Danny Brough (capt), Dale Ferguson ( Huddersfield), David Scott (Batley), Frankie Mariano (Featherstone), James Bell (Warriors), Jarred Anderson (Sydney Roosters), Johnny Walker (Darlington Point Roosters), Lachlan Stein (Penrith), Lewis Tierney (Wigan), Luke Douglas (St Helens), Matthew Russell (Warrington), Ryan Brierley (Toronto Wolfpack), Sam Brooks (Featherstone), Shane Toal (Barrow).