South Wales Scorpions’ new signing Harry Cartwright is fit to play for Wales in the Commonwealth Championship despite being stretchered off in his professional debut on Saturday. And he will be up against one of world rugby league’s most exciting names: Tuivasa-Sheck. Fortunately for Cartwright and his Wales team-mates it will be Australia youngster Johnny and not his older brother and New Zealand star, Roger, who will be playing in Group A at Broadwood on Friday.
Tuivasa-Sheck is a late call-up for Australia, who had to make changes at the weekend following several of their players getting call-ups for Sydney Roosters professional and New South Wales age group squads. Johnny, like Roger, is a winger. The 18-year-old was born in Otahuhu in New Zealand but can play for Australia based on his residency and the first representation rule. Brother Roger was one of the stars of the Rugby League World Cup in Britain last autumn only to fracture his leg in the opening minutes of the final at Old Trafford at New Zealand lost their title to Australia. He had already clinched the NRL title with Sydney Roosters and added the World Club Challenge to his medal haul in February when they beat Wigan Warriors.
Cartwright, a 19-year old from Wrexham, spent the latter stages of his debut against York City Knights on the sidelines after being injured in a dangerous incident midway through the second half. Initially it was thought to be concussion but Cartwright tells a different story after his involvement in what was initially a minor scuffle.
“There were arms everywhere,” he said. “One was around my neck, I couldn't breathe and just went dizzy. I was light headed and the doctor said I couldn't carry on with the condition I was in and I needed to be taken off. After the match and now I feel great and I can’t wait to play for Wales in Glasgow on Friday.
“Apart from that, I think my debut went really well. I felt I stepped up and demonstrated some of what I can do. The team have been so welcoming as well, it’s a great club atmosphere down at the Scorpions.”
Cartwright’s signing for the Scorpions means that all of Wales’ representatives in the Commonwealth Championship are on the Scorpions books, but he is proud of roots.
“I'm really proud and feel very privileged to be North Wales’ only representative in the squad,” he said. “It's a good opportunity to show that rugby league players in the north are being noticed.
“I’m looking forward to all the games and I think we have a great chance at being in the Final. We’ve a young talented squad who make up a very close team. We know that Australia will be a big challenge as they’re a one-club team like us, all coming from Sydney Roosters. They will be a brilliant challenge and we are ready to meet it.”
In the RLCC2014 tournament at Cumbernauld’s Broadwood Stadium in North Lanarkshire, which is part of the Homecoming Scotland festival of events, Wales kick off in Group A against Scotland before facing Australia and Jamaica. They will return the next day for the play-offs and semi-finals stage. Entry on both days is FREE.
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