Fairbairn expects close encounter with Lebanon
Former Wigan Warriors, Hull KR and Scotland Rugby League legend George Fairbairn believes the Bravehearts’ rugbyleague.com European Cup clash with Lebanon on Sunday will be a closely fought battle.
Scotland’s manager, who is originally from Peebles, was pleased with the performance against Italy two weeks ago but knows that with a final place at stake, the Group 2 decider at Anniesland, Glasgow will be a completely different match.
“There is a lot of hard work going on at the moment behind the scenes within Scotland Rugby League, and it’s about moving with the times to make sure we are successful as a nation,” said Fairbairn.
“We had no idea of what to expect really from the Italians, we knew they had about four to five weeks to put a team together but the lads did a great job and were very professional in the way they trained and played.
“The Lebanon clash will be a completely different game to the Italy match and both teams will go into it as evens.”
Fairbairn had an illustrious international career playing for England and Great Britain, including the 1975 World Cup where he played at full-back and the 1977 World Cup where he was the top points-scorer in the tournament with 34 points.
He returned to his roots at the introduction of a Scotland Rugby League side at the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup and coached the full Scotland side between 1995 and 1997. He is now back involved with the national as manager and is relishing the role.
He said: “It’s definitely difficult making the transition from player to manager, you have to handle things differently, but I enjoy it and it’s a little easier if you think from the player’s point of view and think of what it used to be like.”
After a fantastic start by the Bravehearts in the rugbyleague.com European Cup, where they defeated Italy in Padova by a record breaking 104 – 0 scoreline, the squad have now set their sights on a home draw against a strong Lebanese squad.
Scotland are currently sitting top of Group 2 after Lebanon managed an 86 – 0 victory in Tripoli after a much improved Italian performance but the Scots are hoping for a win that will take them down to Wales for the rugbyleague.com European Cup Final in Bridgend on November 8.
Tickets for Scotland’s home rugbyleague.com European Cup game match against Lebanon at Anniesland, Glasgow on Sunday November 1 at 3.00pm are now available by visiting www.scotlandrl.com and cost £10 for adults, with concessions at £5 and children £1.
Scotland v Lebanon – rugbyleague.com European Cup - Sunday November 1 KO 3.00pm – live on Sky Sports 3