26 Oct 2012

Scotland have made two changes to their 20-man squad ahead of the Alitalia European Cup game against England Knights at Meggetland on Sunday, with Warrington Wolves youngster Ben Hellewell and Sheffield Eagles prop Jack Howieson returning in place of Shae Lyon-Fraser and Paul Jackson. Hellewell, who will join Featherstone Rovers next week, won his first cap against France last year while veteran Howieson hopes to win his eleventh, nine years after his debut. If he plays, Howieson will join Eagles team-mates Andrew Henderson, Alex Szostak and Mitchell Stringer in the Scotland side in the same month that they won the Championship Grand Final.

Coach Dave Rotheram has a concern over Dale Ferguson, who is suffering with a tooth abscess which has required surgery this week. The Huddersfield Giants star is struggling to be fit and will see a doctor today to seek clearance to play. "Dale's had to have an abcess drained and a tooth removed this week and has been in a lot of pain," explained Rotheram. "He is touch and go for Sunday. Hopefully he'll be fit as he's used to playing against the quality of opposition we'll face in the England Knights: all excellent Super League players. It's a great challenge but also a massive opportunity for our lads to test themselves at that level. We've got a lot of experience ourselves and some younger lads who are finding their way in the game. They can fulfill their potential on Sunday. It's a chance for players like Sam Barlow and Walker twins, who were outstading against Ireland, to prove that they should be playing in Super League every week."

England Knights coach Kieron Purtill has named an unchanged 19-man squad to take on Scotland in Sunday’s decisive Alitalia European Cup fixture in Edinburgh. The Knights opened their campaign with a 56-4 victory over Ireland last weekend and head into Sunday’s game at Meggetland (2.00pm) knowing victory against Scotland would secure the Alitalia European Cup title.

“We’ve had a great two weeks as a group and everyone has worked hard and it was pleasing to see that rewarded with a great win against Ireland last week,” said Purtill. “The performance against Ireland was one of the best I have seen from any Knights group and I thought our forwards, especially, were outstanding. We now need to ensure that we continue to improve on all the little aspects of our game and make sure we keep up our off the ball efforts on Sunday.”

Only a 27-point win for Scotland would see them crowned European champions for the first time but Rotheram is using the fixture more as a preparation for the 2013 World Cup which kicks off 365 days later. "It's a big game in that respect - it could be our last before the World Cup and players need to put their hands up and show that they should be in the World Cup squad. It's a massive chance for them."

Pictured: Jack Howieson will be looking to add to his ten Scotland caps.

Jonathan Walker (Castleford Tigers), Ben Fisher (Catalans Dragons), Craig Borthwick, Callum Cockburn, Tom Murray, Dave Vernon (Edinburgh Eagles), Josh Barlow, Sam Barlow (Halifax), Dale Ferguson, Adam Walker (Huddersfield Giants), David Scott (Hull Kingston Rovers), Liam Hood (Leeds Rhinos), Lee Paterson (Mackay Cutters), Andrew Henderson, jack Howieson, Mitchell Stringer, Alex Szostak (Sheffield Eagles), Alex Hurst (Swinton Lions), Ben Hellewell (Warrington Wolves), Brett Carter (Workington Town)

Tom Burgess, Luke Gale (Bradford Bulls), Daryl Clark (Castleford Tigers), Greg Eden, Michael Lawrence, Shaun Lunt (Huddersfield Giants), Danny Houghton (c), Jordan Turner (Hull FC), Scott Taylor (Hull KR), Chris Clarkson, Ben Jones-Bishop (Leeds Rhinos), Kieran Dixon, Dan Sarginson (London Broncos), George Burgess (South Sydney Rabbitohs), Jodie Broughton (Salford City Reds), Mike Cooper, Rhys Evans, Chris Riley (Warrington Wolves), Jack Hughes (Wigan Warriors)