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Scotland v Wales preview
Wales must beat Scotland by 14 points or more in Glasgow this Sunday (kick-off 3pm) to have any chance of qualifying for the Rugby League European Nations Cup Final writes Ian Golden.
They must then hope that the Bravehearts pull off a shock win in Ireland on Friday 29th.
Wales have named a squad of 20 with few changes from the side that lost to Ireland last Sunday. Anthony Farrell has failed a fitness test so the Dragons starting line-up is expected to be the same, while Kevin Ellis and Neil Davies, both of whom came off the bench on Sunday, are unable to make the trip.
Coach Stuart Wilkinson is confident about Wales remaining in the tournament commenting, "I think we will give Scotland a good game. Considering we had a handful of Conference players in the squad and that Mark Lennon was off the field for half an hour with that injury, our performance last week was very creditable. The newcomers all played like Super League players, all they need now is some more immersion in high level competition and they'll go far in this game."
New Scotland coach Steve McCormack has named 10 uncapped players in his 20-man squad.
Among the newcomers are Wakefield forward Duncan MacGillivray and former South Africa captain Jamie Bloem, while the squad also includes four amateur players promoted from the Scotland A squad including Glasgow Bulls' Andy McPhail who broke the Scottish points-scoring record with 38 in the win over Serbia and Montenegro in July.
The remaining 10 players have just 40 caps between them but the side, skippered again by Leeds prop Wayne McDonald and featuring Wests Tigers scrum-half Andrew Henderson who paid for his own flight back from Sydney to play, contains many of the players who beat France in Narbonne in Scotland's last international 11 months ago.
Wales (from): Damien Gibson (Castleford Tigers), Hefin O'Hare (Huddersfield Giants), Kris Tassell (Unattached), Adam Hughes (Widnes Vikings), Bryn Powell (Salford City Reds), Mark Lennon (Manly Warringah Sea Eagles), Ian Watson (Oldham), Damien Hudd (Torfaen Tigers), Dave Clarke (Barrow Raiders), Gareth Dean (Workington), Jordan James (Sheffield Eagles), Barry Pugh (Barrow Raiders), Aled James (Sheffield Eagles), Steve Thomas (London Broncos), Nathan Strong (Bridgend Blue Bulls), Tom Brown (Coventry RFC), Lewis Taylor (Leeds Rhinos), Gareth Price (Rochdale Hornets), Mark Burke (Aberavon Fighting Irish), John Breakingbury (Sheffield Eagles).
Scotland (from): Nathan Graham (Batley Bulldogs), Andy McPhail (Glasgow Bulls), Jamie Bloem (Halifax), Iain Marsh (Oldham), Pete Shaw (Loughborough), Danny Brough (York City Knights), Andrew Henderson (Wests Tigers), Wayne McDonald (Leeds Rhinos), Dave McConnell (Leigh Centurions), Jack Howieson (Sheffield Eagles), Mike Wainwright (Warrington Wolves), Duncan MacGillivray (Wakefield Trinity), Alex Szostak (Bradford Bulls), Matt Tunstall (Workington Town), Ross Marshall (Ardrossan), Neil Lowe (Salford City Reds), Andy Brown (Fife Lions), Chris Birchall (Halifax), Spencer Miller (Whitehaven), Jason Roach (Swinton Lions). Stand-by: Scott Rhodes (York City Knights).
Sat 23 Oct 2004 Gillette Tri-Nations Series Australia v New Zealand (Loftus Road, London) 18:15 Sun 24 Oct 2004 European Nations Cup Russia v England (Olympic Stadium, Moscow) 13:00 Scotland v Wales (Glasgow Hawks RFC) 15:00