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I don’t think the news of my inclusion has sunk in

Posted on 16 October 2010

“I don’t think the news of my inclusion has sunk in yet,” he said “I feel like a young buck, nervous with anticipation. “David’s technique as a loose head is exemplary and he can scrum on both sides. Hilton, who played first division rugby for his home-town club and won Heineken Cup honours with Bath before throwing in his lot with the newly-professionalised Glasgow team, will push hard for further recognition when the Scots begin their autumn international programme next month.”There is no sentiment about this,” McGeechan said yesterday. In Bristol, embarrassingly enough.However, Scotland have not produced too many world-beating front-rowers since Hilton’s disappearance from the Test scene, and McGeechan, the national coach, wasted little time in beginning the process of reintegration. Checks on Hilton’s credentials revealed that the Edinburgh link was nothing more than a family myth: his grandfather had been born rather nearer home. That rewarding run of high-profile activity came to a sudden end when the eligibility issue flared up during the inaugural Six Nations’ Championship when two New Zealanders, Shane Howarth and Brett Sinkinson, were shown to be playing for Wales under false pretences.

From Grannygate to open gate, it seems.The son of a Bristol butcher, Hilton won 41 caps for Scotland between 1995 and 2000 on the strength of an Edinburgh-born grandfather. David Hilton, one of three front-line internationals who saw their Test careers disappear beneath the rubble of rugby’s “Grannygate” scandal, is back in the Scotland squad for the first time in 31 months and will train with Ian McGeechan’s ?te party on Monday.
The Glasgow prop, whose claim to Scottish ancestry failed to survive the most cursory of examinations, qualifies on residential grounds having completed the three-year term imposed by the International Board. Runners-up: Mark Calderwood (Leeds), Waine Pryce (Castleford) Players’ Player: Adrian Lam (Wigan) Runners-up: Paul Sculthorpe, Dennis Moran (London) Referee of the year: Russell Smith (Castleford) Runners-up: Steve Ganson (St Helens), Bob Connolly (Wigan) Top tryscorer: Dennis Moran Hit Man (most tackles): Malcolm Alker (Salford) Metre Maker (most metres gained): Terry O’Connor (Wigan).. Both are expected to catch up with the main party in time for their first match, against Hull next Tuesday.Two Leigh players, Andrew Isherwood and Jon Roper, have been ordered to appear at the Rugby League’s disciplinary committee over alleged high tackles in their club’s defeat by Huddersfield in the Northern Ford Premiership Grand Final.TETLEY’S SUPER LEAGUE AWARDS: Man of Steel: Paul Sculthorpe (St Helens) Coach of the Year: Neil Kelly (Widnes). Lam has the consolation of being voted Players’ Player of the Year by his fellow professionals.Richard Horne, of Hull, was named as Young Player of the Year, with Neil Kelly’s feat in taking Widnes to the brink of the play-offs in their first year in Super League recognised by the Coach of the Year award.Castleford have signed the Wakefield prop, Paul Jackson, on a two-year deal.The New Zealand tourists have flown into Britain without three selected players. The award has been in existence for 25 years, so Sculthorpe’s selection, despite a strong challenge from Wigan’s Adrian Lam, gives him a special place in the game’s honours list. “I challenge any other sport to produce a more outstanding candidate.”As if to underline his current standing, Sculthorpe was last night celebrating becoming the first player to win the Man of Steel award, for the individual making the greatest impact on the season, two years running.

“I would rate Paul Sculthorpe as the best all-round athlete in British sport at the moment,” said his chairman, Eamonn McManus. “There is no better place to be in world rugby than Saints,” said Sculthorpe, who will play in the Super League Grand Final against Bradford at Old Trafford on Saturday.The signing – and that of the Australian winger, Darren Albert, for another three years – is perfectly timed as that big occasion looms and Saints are understandably jubilant. Paul Sculthorpe pledged his long-term future to St Helens on the same day that he became the first player to win the game’s most prestigious individual award twice running.
The Great Britain international has ended speculation about a switch to rugby union by signing a three-year extension to the remaining two years of his contract. You have to keep applying yourself.”WORLD MATCH PLAY CHAMPIONSHIP (Wentworth): Tomorrow’s first round (seeds denoted by number): 0900 & 1315: M Campbell (NZ, 8) v N Faldo (GB) Winner to play I Woosnam (GB, 1) 0915 & 1330: P Harrington (Irl, 5) v M Weir (Can` Winner to play S Garcia (Sp, 4) 0930 & 1345: V Singh (Fiji, 6) v J Rose (GB) Winner to play R Goosen (SA, 3) 0945 & 1400: C Montgomerie (GB, 7) v F Funk (US) Winner to play E Els (SA, 2).. There is work to be done again.”When you relax and forget about something in golf, it comes back to bite you.

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