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Capital gains for League ace Louie

PUBLISHED: 17:45 16 October 2008 | UPDATED: 13:42 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG EAST END rugby league star Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook celebrated his first international call-up this week by making a try-scoring debut as England ran riot over Wales in Doncaster on Friday night. McCarthy-Scarsbrook, from the Isle of D

By JONATHAN CLEGG

EAST END rugby league star Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook celebrated his first international call-up this week by making a try-scoring debut as England ran riot over Wales in Doncaster on Friday night.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook, from the Isle of Dogs, made his England bow as a second-half substitute and crossed the line late on as Tony Smith's side recorded a 74-0 victory in their final warm-up game ahead of next month's World Cup finals in Australia.

The 22-year-old Harlequins prop is an outsider to make the final World Cup squad after missing three months of the season with a broken wrist, but he was overjoyed to represent his country as England recorded an emphatic triumph.

"Winning my first England cap was class," he said. "My family came [to the match] as well so that made it extra special.

"Because I got an injury early in the season, which put me out for three months, I wasn't too sure what was going to happen.

"This year I just wanted to get a permanent spot in the Quins side, I didn't look that far ahead. You don't really hear much down south but someone said I was in the running.

"Hopefully, I can push on next season and get another cap and see how it goes then."

McCarthy-Scarsbrook became one of the first two players to graduate from the Harlequins Rugby League academy to the full England team along with team-mate Tony Clubb, from Gravesend, who also grabbed a debut try in Friday night's thrashing.

England stalwart Adrian Morley declared that the two Harlequins players had turned the team's training camp into a "Cockney convention" as London accents mixed with northern dialects at the squad's Yorkshire base.

Fellow Harlequins star Rob Purdham, who scored 20 points against Wales to secure his place in the World Cup squad, admitted that the selection of the London-born pair is proof of the sustained growth of rugby league in the south.

He added that McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Clubb have shown that the capital club's youngsters can "mix it with the best" in the sport.

"The young lads coming through the system can mix it with the best players in the country," Purdham said.

"It's good news for the club and good news for Louie and Clubby, who have learnt a lot things from Tony Smith and the England coaching staff."

Harlequins head coach Brian McDermott also praised McCarthy-Scarsbrook and team-mate Clubb for making the step up to the national team.

He said: "This is great news and credit to their performances throughout a testing season that Quins have had.

"There are exciting times ahead and I'm sure they won't be the last players with a southern accent to play rugby league for this country.

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