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Dalziel Goes International
Posted 13/3/12 @ 18:00 by Niall McK (Posts: 632)

While Dalziel’s Lanarkshire neighbours Cambuslang were celebrating the first Scotland cap of Duncan Weir, a Dalziel Under-18 player has been offered the chance of representing his national team. 17 year old Shabaz Khan is to fly out to Dubai to represent Pakistan in an international Rugby League 10-a-side match against the United Arab Emirates at the end of March. Participation in this match forms part of the selection process for the Pakistan National Rugby Union team.

Khan, a first year apprentice with the Scottish Rugby Union, joined Dalziel in August 2011, but more impressively only started playing rugby in October 2010 with Waysiders/ Drumpellier RFC in Coatbridge. Since joining Dalziel, Khan has become a mainstay in the Under-18 front row and has also put in a number of impressive performances for both the Third and Fourth XVs, against vastly more experienced players. Khan recently made his first start for the Second XV, earning plaudits from both his teammates and opponents.

This opportunity for Khan has been made possible with the assistance of the British Asian Rugby Association who help both rugby union and rugby league players of Asian descent represent their parent country.

Khan commented, “Ever since I started playing rugby, it has become my passion, and now rugby has taken over my life. It has been my dream for the last year and a half to become an international rugby player, and BARA may have just fulfilled that dream for me. I am so proud and honoured to represent my father country in the thing I love doing more than anything in this world.”

Dalziel President, Khalid Faqir, “This young man has impressed me with his development and commitment considering his young age and especially since he is relatively new to rugby. Any international recognition is a fantastic opportunity for him and I look forward to him continuing to develop with Dalziel in the years to come.”

Dalziel have had a number of youth internationalists in the past, with First XV Captain Craig Simmonds, and Gary Strain, currently with RC Massey in Paris, both representing Scotland at Under-20 level, while Stuart Caulfield, Jamie Duguid and David McGrane have all played for Scotland Under-18s, however, should Khan make an appearance for Pakistan, he will become Dalziel’s first ever full internationalist.

On this potential achievement, Khan said, “I would feel very honoured and thankful to all the coaches if I became the first full international player to come from Dalziel RFC.”

Meanwhile, Khan’s front row partner in the Under-18’s, Grant Stewart, has been selected for the training squad for Scotland Under-17’s. Stewart joins up with the rest of the squad at a training camp this weekend at Dollar Academy.

While two Dalziel players are dreaming of International recognition, another internationalist is joining the club. Cypriot Internationalist Graeme Scott, a former school mate of current Dalziel First XV player Crawford Reid, has returned to Scotland after spending the last few years in the Mediterranean. Scott, formerly of Glasgow Accies and Uddingston, started playing with the Paphos Tigers in 2005 after 7 years out of the game, and gained his first cap against Azerbaijan in November 2008.

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