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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Scotland call-up for Workington Town's Brett Phillips

Workington Town ace Brett Phillips will cap a remarkable rise from Seaton to Scotland in little over a year when he turns out against England Knights on Sunday.

brettphillips
Meteoric rise: Workington Town’s Brett Phillips

The 24-year-old back-rower has been called in to the Scotland squad for the European Cup clash with the star-studded Knights in Edinburgh. And coach Dave Rotheram confirmed he will play in the match, alongside Town team-mate Brett Carter.

Phillips said: “It’s out of the blue, but I’m quite chuffed. It’s only my first year as a semi-pro so I’ve still got a lot to learn.

“It should be a really good experience. I will definitely be nervous, but there would be something wrong with me if I wasn’t.

“It’s going to be really tough obviously and give me an insight in to the level I need to get to.”

Rotheram is a long-time fan of the former Seaton Rangers star and revealed he had tried to sign him when coach at Whitehaven, and later as Town boss.

The coach realised Phillips qualified for Scotland, through his grand-father, when he bumped in to him by chance during the squad’s recent training stint in west Cumbria.

“He was at a sportsman’s dinner where we were staying,” Rotheram said. “I’ve known Brett since he was young and I got talking to him. It was right place, right time, and he takes his chance. He’s big, athletic and has some aggression in him, and he had a good year at Workington.”

After a glittering amateur international career, Phillips turned pro with Town in September last year, and just five weeks later, in a sign of his stature, was drafted in to the Cumbria side to face England Knights.

Illness prevented him staking his claim but he went on to thrive in Town’s promotion campaign last term.

“I really enjoyed it,” he said, paying tribute to Workington’s coaching staff and players who helped him adapt to the pro game. “I fitted in well and they all made it easier.”

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