Hull FC centre Cameron Scott ready to make his mark

WHEN Jack Welsby scored that try to clinch the Grand Final for St Helens in November, he was the latest member of the 2018 England Academy side, that memorably defeated the Australian Schoolboys, to make an indelible mark on Super League.

The youngster made the most of his chance last term after Saints’ England centre Mark Percival suffered a long-term injury.

However, others from that Academy vintage, such as Leeds Rhinos’ Harry Newman and Wigan Warriors duo Morgan Smithies and Harry Smith, had already long since also made an impression at first-team level.

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Hull FC’s Cameron Scott, who captained England’s youngsters to that series success with such authority and composure three years ago, hopes he will get a chance to shine himself in 2021.

Opportunities so far have been fleeting for the Bradfordian, which is perhaps unsurprising given he has centres of such sustained quality as Carlos Tuimavave and Josh Griffin in front of him at KCOM Stadium.

Nevertheless, new Black and Whites head coach Brett Hodgson has been impressed with his approach in pre-season and the tall 21-year-old has been told he will play in their opening friendly at York City Knights on Thursday.

“If you look at the majority of that England team now, we’ve all gone on to play Super League and some are regulars,” said Scott, who has had loan spells with Doncaster, Dewsbury Rams, York and Leigh Centurions since making his Hull debut in 2018.

“Jack Welsby won a Grand Final in the fashion he did and I was sat watching it over the moon for him. Then there’s the likes of Harry Newman who I roomed with in that series.

Top prospect: Hull FCs former England Academy captain Cameron Scott. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

“It’s great seeing all of us push on – and some of the other lads pushing into the England squad, playing regularly and showing why they’re in there.

“You could go through the whole list of that team but it shows, with that crop of players coming through, it’s going to be a good few years for England.

“Personally, at Hull, I am looking forward to getting going this season. It’s the first time where I’ve come back for pre-season knowing that I’m staying rather than possibly going out on loan.

“I came back last pre-season with a bit of injury and then I was going out on loan (to Leigh).

No stopping him: Cameron Scott scores for Hull against Castleford Tigers last season. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

“It was one of those awkward things where you get settled and then get sent somewhere else.

“But I’ve had a good pre-season and this is where I’m going to be.”

Dislodging Griffin – who is in Shaun Wane’s England squad with the likes of Percival, Newman and Oliver Gildart – and the excellent New Zealander Tuimavave is not a simple task, mind.

“Yes, they are arguably two of the best centres in the comp’,” conceded Scott, who joined Hull when Bradford Bulls went into liquidation in 2017.

Winner: St Helens' Jack Welsby with the Super League trophy. Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire.

“But on the back of that, there’s things to learn from and when you’re competing with them day in, day out, that’s only going to help me.

“They’re keen to teach me –there’s no arrogance – and I’m keen to learn off them. If I can be half the player those two are I’ll be pretty pleased.

“There’s pros and cons on both sides of it. It’s up to me when that opportunity comes to take it, prove that I can do the job and be my own sort of centre as well.”

Scott excelled in the Championship, scoring four tries in as many games for Leigh before the pandemic shut the competition down in March.

He returned to Hull, where assistant coach Andy Last was in interim charge, and managed four Super League games to further bolster his confidence.

Scott has already shown he can cope with adversity having been diagnosed as a type-one diabetic when aged 14.

Impressed: Hull FC coach Brett Hodgson. Picture by Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Told he would need to inject insulin for the rest of his life, it did not daunt him.

Indeed, Scott’s reaction is a perfect example to other youngsters aspiring to be professional sportspeople who may find themselves in the same position.

He recalled: “I think you probably have two options when it comes down to it: embrace it and accept that it’s not going to get any better with there being no cure or you can roll over and let it take over and I was the former.

“Once I’d been diagnosed, the first thing I wanted to do was play rugby. You put it to the back of your mind and as long as it doesn’t affect what you do or how you train, it can be quite positive.”

Hodgson – who will rotate his three co-captains with Danny Houghton the first up against York – rates Scott’s pre-season as “exceptional” and expects him to also play some back-row.

The coach is “extremely confident” the player will make his mark in Super League. It is now just about when rather than if.

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