CHRIS Clarke is setting his sights on European Cup glory with Scotland.
The 25-year-old back-row forward from Huddersfield is one of eight uncapped players for this autumn’s two-Test series against England Knights and Ireland. Prop Adam Walker, who left the Giants at the end of this season, is another new name, while Huddersfield utility forward Dale Ferguson has returned to the Scotland fold.
And Clarke’s selection crowns an excellent week for the former Giants Academy man who has just signed a one-year contract extension with Co-operative Championship club Swinton Lions, along with Slaithwaite Saracens teammates Ritchie and Darren Hawkyard.
“This has been a good time for me,” said Clarke (pictured), who this season coached the Giants’ highly-successful Under 16s side and has previously represented England and Great Britain Students.
“Within days of signing a new contract with Swinton, I got the nod I’d been picked for the initial Scotland squad.
“I obviously don’t know if I’ll be playing in the games yet, because they’ve picked a provisional 30-man squad – and there’s a lot of quality and experience in there.
“It’s just a case of turning up for the training sessions, doing your best and hoping you get the nod.
“I’d absolutely love to play at this level. It’ll be a fantastic experience and one I don’t think you’d ever forget.”
Scotland’s opening game is against Ireland at Meggetland, Edinburgh (Boroughmuir RFC) on Sunday, October 14 and then against England Knights at the same venue a fortnight later.
Others to be named in the Scotland squad who boast Super League experience include former Giants prop Paul Jackson, Catalan Dragons hooker Ben Fisher and Leeds Rhinos No9 Liam Hood.
And in the clash against England Knights, Clarke and the Scots could be up against Giants stars Greg Eden, Michael Lawrence, Larne Patrick and Joe Wardle. Leeds’ on-loan Giants hooker Shaun Lunt is another in the Knights frame.
Scotland's provisional 30-man squad: Tom Murray (Edinburgh Eagles), Alex Szostak (Sheffield), Sam Barlow (Halifax), Callum Cockburn (Edinburgh Eagles), Neil Lowe (Hunslet), Dale Ferguson (Giants), Josh Barlow (Halifax), Kevin Henderson (Leigh), Craig Borthwick (Edinburgh Eagles), Shae Lyon-Fraser (Wigan), Chris Clarke (Swinton), Brett Carter (Workington), Ben Hellewell (Warrington), Alex Hurst (Swinton), Ben Fisher (Catalan), Andrew Henderson (Sheffield Eagles), Liam Hood (Leeds), Gareth Moore (Batley), Lee Paterson (unattached), John Duffy (Leigh), Dave Vernon (Edinburgh Eagles), Mitch Stringer (Sheffield), Paul Jackson (Whitehaven), Jack Howieson (Sheffield), Jack Stearman (York City Knights), Adam Walker (unattached), Jonathan Walker (Castleford), David Scott (Hull KR), Dave Arnot (London Skolars), Crawford Matthews (Hull FC).