03 February 2017

Abertay student selected for Rugby League World Cup

Abertay student selected for Rugby League World Cup

An Abertay student has battled back from serious injury to be selected for the Student Rugby League World Cup in Australia.

Niall Hall, 21, who took up the sport at the age of six, will travel to Sydney to take part in this summer’s prestigious competition.

Niall, who studies Physical Activity and Health at Abertay, was involved in the tournament in 2014 and 2016, but missed out in 2015 due to an injury that required surgery and rehabilitation.

The fourth year student is thrilled to have made it back into the fold for this July’s World Cup.

He said, ‘I have played rugby since I was six after my dad encouraged me to try a sport.

‘I wasn’t involved in the World Cup set up in 2015 due to a severely injured shoulder that could have ended my rugby career – ultimately requiring two operations to fix and a year of rehabilitation.

‘Being selected for the Students’ Rugby League World Cup in Australia tops off a very special year for me, with it being my first full year back playing rugby following my operations.

‘From January 2016, I have turned out for both university and club teams. I am currently the top try scoring forward for Abertay. For Dundee High, I recently made my first appearance for the 1st XV team in the National 1 league, the second highest league in Scotland.’

For Niall, selection into the Scottish World Cup squad involved four trial sessions around the UK, with more than 80 students competing for a place.

The team has friendlies coming up prior to the World Cup, with a game against the GB Police team in Newcastle in May.

Niall added, ‘This selection means the world to me, and couldn’t have got to this point without the continued support of my family, especially my mum and dad who have continually motivated me to grab every opportunity that I am presented with. They have stood and watched me in rain or shine, got me to training and helped me out financially.

‘I also owe this selection to the work of Ryan Beattie and all those involved within the Abertay University Rugby Club who have motivated me and developed me into the player and person I am today.’

The World Cup will take place from 5-17 July.

As a member of the Scotland squad, Niall has to raise £3,000 to cover the cost of travel, accommodation and kit. As well as crowdfunding and other fundraising, Niall is also looking for corporate sponsors to help him fulfil his dream. If you’re interested in helping, contact Niall on nfhall95@gmail.com    

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