Fri 01 February

Scotland star targets golden championships season

Scotland star targets golden championships season

Scotland international Mike Stewart is hoping that a strong season with the University of Gloucestershire All Golds can help cement a place in the squad for Rugby League World Cup 2013.

Prop-forward or second-rower Stewart became one of the All Golds’ first new signings ahead of their debut season at Championships level when he put pen to paper late last year.

Born in Dumfries, Stewart represented Scotland Students while studying at University of Lincoln and made his senior debut for the nation in 2012.

“I was very proud to represent the country at student level, and felt so privileged that I was able to progress that to the full senior side,” Stewart told RLWC2013.com.

“My debut was at Scotstoun and that was a massive occasion for me. We then played away at France at the Stade Gilbert Brutus, which was another amazing game to be involved with.

“I was suddenly playing in front of 15,000 people and against top class players from the Catalan Dragons. It was a massive step up, but I really enjoyed it.”

Stewart moved with his family to West Yorkshire aged two, but insists that the pride he feels when pulling on the Bravehearts jersey has not been diluted.

“Singing the national anthem is something that comes very naturally to me. I’m fiercely proud to be Scottish and my dad wouldn’t stand for it if I told him I ever considered playing for England,” said Stewart.

“I am hoping that playing in Championship 1 will help put me in the shop window, as I’ll be playing against high-level opposition week in, week out.

“Competition for places is tough, but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

Scotland have been drawn alongside Tonga and Italy in Group C, and also face tournament debutants USA in a cross-group game.

“Tong and Italy are both strong sides,” said Stewart.

“Italy can call on their heritage players, and Tonga just play with their own style. They’re tough, uncompromising, and we’re expecting a massive battle up front.

“I do think the group games are winnable for Scotland, as this is Cup rugby and anything can happen on the day.

“But more than anything, just being involved in a Rugby League World Cup is fantastic.

“It’s the biggest stage of them all and representing your country at this tournament is the pinnacle for anyone.

“The motivation is huge. National pride is at stake, and that’s very important to us.”

Scotland face Tonga and Italy at Derwent Park, Workington, and take on USA at the Salford City Stadium.

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Scotland star targets golden championships season Scotland international Mike Stewart is hoping a strong season with Gloucester All Golds can help cement a place in the Bravehearts squad.


Rugby League World Cup
Sat 23 NovNew Zealand 20-18 England
Sun 17 NovSamoa 4-22 Fiji
Sat 16 NovEngland 34-6 France
Fri 15 NovNew Zealand 40-4 Scotland
Mon 11 NovFrance 6-22 Samoa
Sun 10 NovWales 24-28 Cook Islands
Sat 09 NovEngland 34-12 Fiji
Fri 08 NovNew Zealand 56-10 Papua New Guinea
Thu 07 NovScotland 22-8 USA
Tue 05 NovTonga 22-16 Cook Islands

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