Ace Bill is hoping to flower with Scotland

Accrington Lions Under 18s player Bill Holden (above centre) who has been selected for Scotland Under 19s

Accrington Lions Under 18s player Bill Holden (above centre) who has been selected for Scotland Under 19s

First published in Sport

BILL HOLDEN will get the chance to test himself against some of the best young rugby league players around after answering an email.

The 18-year-old has been selected for Scotland Under 19s squad for the Rugby League Commonwealth Championships which begin this weekend.

Holden, who plays for Accrington Panthers Under 18s, earned his call-up after responding to a circular email that was sent to all clubs.

Coach Mark Brindle said: “We got this email about trials being held for the Scotland squad and asked if anyone was eligible.

“I mentioned it to the boys and Bill told me he was born in Wick so he went along to the trials.”

Holden, a student a Accrington and Rossendale College, attended a trial at Bolton St Catherine's Academy run by Scotland Rugby League coaches Dave Rotherham and John Duffy.

And there the young loose forward impressed the coaches after pitting his wits against players from all over the UK – including talent from professional Super League outfits London Broncos, Hull Kingston Rovers and Warrington Wolves. He will now link up with the rest of the Scotland team in North Lanarkshire and will face Wales, Jamaica and Australia in Group A, beginning at Broadwood Stadium on Friday.

“This is a phenomenal opportunity for Bill and I’m sure he will do well,” said Brindle.

“He has all the attributes to perform very well. He is big, strong and has an outstanding mindset that serves him well in the sport of Rugby League. He understands that he still has a lot to learn but this experience will be a real education for him.

“Bill knows he is still a bit rough around the edges but he is a very good player, a real grafter.

“It’s wonderful to see one of our lads rubbing shoulders with the big boys and proves that there is genuine talent here in East Lancashire.”

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