INTERNATIONAL rugby league is now beckoning for Netherton’s Austen Barrowclough.
The 18-year-old will play at hooker for Serbia against Russia on Saturday in the Euro Med Cup.
The call-up in Belgrade comes after Barrowclough – who plays for Newsome Panthers – scored eight tries in three matches of an Under 18 tournament in Prague last week, when he was selected for the European 13 (the best players in each position in the event).
Barrowclough qualifies for Serbia through his late grandfather, Peter Novakovic, who came to England from Serbia shortly after the Second World War, and his debut will be a hotly contested affair as the Russians are their great rivals.
He goes into it having received the European 13 shirt in Prague and also a Russian national team shirt, which was presented by the Russian players at the championship who selected him as their player of the tournament.
At full international level, the Serbs have never beaten the Russians, but they believe that the current Serb team is good enough to end that record and are hoping Barrowclough can inspire them to victory.
Following Saturday’s clash with Russia, Barrowclough and the Serb team travel to Beirut where they will be playing against Lebanon, also in the Euro Med Cup.