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Page last updated at 16:43 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 17:43 UK

Father inspires Scottish brothers

Andrew Henderson
Henderson (bottom) was playing for Castleford last season

Scotland's Andrew Henderson says he and his brothers will draw inspiration from their ill father at the upcoming Rugby League World Cup.

Henderson will compete for a place along with brothers Ian and Kevin at the tournament in Australia.

"My father is battling leukaemia but is on the road to recovery," said Henderson. "It is a real slow process, but it is quite emotional for him.

"We are very excited to be a part of this campaign."

The Henderson brothers, who were born in Torquay and raised on the New South Wales Central Coast, have never played competitively in the same team.

However, the trio have often faced each other on opposing sides and qualify to play for Scotland through their father.

"My brothers and I have got something to offer the Scottish side," added Henderson.

"It is a fantastic achievement for us to not only play the game professionally but to come to the World Cup and represent our adopted country.

"If Dad had the energy, I'm sure he would be playing the bagpipes. I know he is going to put on a kilt for my wedding. He may wear a kilt at the Fiji game. If not, then certainly a Scottish jersey.

There is a real realistic pathway for us to progress to the semi-finals. That's the opportunity, that's the goal.

Andrew Henderson

"He is a very passionate Scotsman and to have the opportunity to see the team play and his three sons in the jersey is fantastic for him.

"If the people on the Central Coast don't hurry and buy the tickets, I'm sure he will."

Scotland open their tournament on Sunday against France at the Canberra Stadium before their second Group B match against Fiji at Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford the following Wednesday.

"The way this World Cup has been designed with the three pools is very fair," said Henderson, who will join Gateshead from Castleford next season.

"In Group A, you have Australia, New Zealand, England and PNG. Pool 2 there is France, Fiji and us. Pool 3 has Tonga, Samoa and Ireland.

"There is a real realistic pathway for us to progress to the semi-finals. That's the opportunity, that's the goal.

"A big round of applause for the guys who organised this World Cup because its makes not only a fantastic opportunity for the neutral spectators but for the fans that are supporting all the countries.

"They are going to see some competitive rugby league matches. I think it is a great concept the way they have designed it."

Scotland Rugby League coach Steve McCormack
McCormack is readying his Scotland side for matches with France and Fiji

Meanwhile, Scotland coach Steve McCormack was delighted with the facilities on offer at the Concord Oval, the home of the Wests Tigers where the Scots have been training.

"The facilities here at Concord Oval are tremendous," McCormack said.

"The Wests Tigers are a very good club. We have made some good contacts at Wests Tigers and I can't thank those involved enough who have really helped us out.

"It is a pleasure to be here. It would be great if we could get some Wests Tigers supporters to cheer for us in the World Cup."

see also
Andrew Henderson column
17 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Scots hope for World Cup progress
14 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Jon Wilkin column
13 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Logan back in Scotland cup squad
08 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
World Cup relief for Calderwood
07 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Calderwood receives England call
29 Sep 08 |  Rugby League
Henderson trio in Scots cup squad
29 Aug 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup 2008 fixtures
08 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup squads
14 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Rugby League World Cup on the BBC
06 Oct 08 |  Rugby League
Jon Wilkin column
04 Oct 08 |  Rugby League

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