Rugby League European Cup

By Phil Caplan, Date: 6/10/12

Scotland and Ireland, who kick off the 2012 Alitalia European Cup at Edinburgh’s Meggetland ground on Sunday 14th October (kick off 2pm) have included a host of new names in their initial 30-man squads as they build up to next year’s World Cup.


Scotland have named eight uncapped players including three top flight recruits. Twins Adam and Jonathan Walker – from Huddersfield Giants and Castleford Tigers respectively –along with Leeds Rhinos hooker Liam Hood bring the number of players from this season’s Super League to six.

Also appearing on the Scotland scene for the first time is Swinton forward Chris Clarke, while Dave Vernon, Tom Murray and Craig Borthwick step up from the Scotland A team and Wigan Under-20s winger Shae Lyon-Fraser jumps from Scotland Under-18s into the full squad. Four members of the Scottish champions, Edinburgh Eagles, are included.

Coach Dave Rotheram welcomes back a string of experienced stars to his team who missed last year’s international campaign, including Super League regulars Paul Jackson, Dale Ferguson of Huddersfield Giants and hooker Ben Fisher who has had a fine season for title-chasing Catalan Dragons and will join French Elite Division club Pia after the tournament.

“I’m delighted with the squad,” said Rotheram, who takes the team into camp in Cumbria on 10 October. We’ve got a lot of top class experience back that we missed last year but we’ve also brought in some exciting young talent. It’s great – we’ve got serious competition for places.”

Ireland coach Mark Aston has included 13 uncapped players. There are seven from the domestic league, including former Oldham forward Wayne Kerr – a survivor from their successful 2008 World Cup campaign – as Aston looks to build towards the 2013 tournament.

“I am looking forward to this year’s Alitalia Cup as we are bringing through some new faces who will get their chance to showcase their skills in a good tournament,” he said, fresh from taking Sheffield to the Championship title.

“It’s great to be able to call up new domestic players who have played well for their provinces and for Ireland ‘A’. This is a good chance for them to be part of the senior squad and show me what they are about.”


Tom Murray – Edinburgh Eagles*
Alex Szostak – Sheffield Eagles – 13 caps
Sam Barlow – Halifax – 5
Callum Cockburn – Edinburgh Eagles – 2
Neil Lowe – Hunslet Hawks – 16
Dale Ferguson – Huddersfield Giants – 3
Josh Barlow – Halifax – 2
Kevin Henderson – Leigh Centurions – 11
Craig Borthwick – Edinburgh Eagles*
Shae Lyon-Fraser – Wigan Warriors*
Chris Clarke – Swinton Lions*
Brett Carter – Workington Town – 1
Ben Hellewell – Warrington Wolves – 1
Alex Hurst – Swinton Lions – 2
Ben Fisher – Catalans Dragons – 11
Andrew Henderson – Sheffield Eagles – 18
Liam Hood – Leeds Rhinos*
Gareth Moore – Batley Bulldogs – 3
Lee Paterson – unattached – 10
John Duffy – Leigh Centurions – 12
Dave Vernon – Edinburgh Eagles*
Mitch Stringer – Sheffield Eagles – 6
Paul Jackson – Castleford Tigers – 4
Jack Howieson – Sheffield Eagles – 10
Jack Stearman – York City Knights – 1
Adam Walker – Huddersfield Giants*
Jonathan Walker – Castleford Tigers*
David Scott – Hull Kingston Rovers – 2
Dave Arnot – London Skolars – 4
Crawford Matthews – Hull FC – 2


Matthew Hadden* (Antrim Eels)
Simon Deevy* (Athboy Longhorns)
Wayne Kerr (Country Cowboys)
Elliot Cosgrove (Dewsbury Rams)
Tom McKeown* (Dublin City Exiles)
Joe Taylor (Dublin City Exiles)
Luke Ambler (Halifax RLFC)
Callum Casey (Halifax RLFC)
Paul Handforth (Halifax RLFC)
Sean Hesketh (Halifax RLFC)
Colton Roache* (Sheffield Eagles)
Tommy Goulden* (Leigh Centurions)
Stuart Littler (Leigh Centurions)
Gregg McNally (Leigh Centurions)
Joshua Toole* (Mounties)
Joe Mulhern* (Oldham Roughyeads)
Tim Bergin (Sheffield Eagles)
Pat Smith (Sheffield Eagles)
Brendan Guilfoyle (Treaty City Titans)
Aaron McCloskey (Treaty City Titans)
Kurt Haggerty (Vidnes)
Joel Hinchcliffe* (Unattached)
Sam Wellens* (Unattached)
Danny Bridge* (Warrington Wolves)
James Mendeika* (Warrington Wolves)
Tyrone McCarthy (Warrington Wolves)
Matthew Haggerty* (Whitehaven RLFC)
Carl Sice* (Whitehaven RLFC)
John O’Donnell* (Wigan Warriors)
Liam Finn (Featherstone Rovers)

* denotes uncapped