FORMER Scotland under-21 winger Dave Whiteford is in line to make his international debut for Hong Kong this weekend.
Whiteford has worked in Hong Kong for over three years and is currently general manager and a player at the Hong Kong Scottish rugby club. With Hong Kong leaving out their world sevens stars, Whiteford has been called up to the bench for Hong Kong’s Test match with the United Arab Emirates in Saturday’s opening match of the 2013 HSBC Asian Five Nations, after qualifying through residency.
Whiteford, who played for Peebles and Melrose, will be joined in the squad by fellow Scots Ally Maclay, who played centre for Glasgow Hawks and starts in the No 13 jersey, and Peter McKee, an ex-Watsonians scrum-half, also on the bench. Alex Baddeley, who spent a season in Watsonians’ front row in 2005, is another replacement.
Whiteford, who won his Scotland U21 caps in 2006, told The Scotsman: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in Hong Kong and it’s a tremendous honour to be called up.
“It is also great for HK Scottish to have representation in the team given the fact the club is less than two years old. I was delighted when my team-mate Craig Wilson became the first HK Scottish player to be capped in December as he had put in so much work to achieve that goal, but, unfortunately, Craig picked up an injury. That has ultimately allowed me the opportunity to play in his position for Scottish and now, hopefully, I will be able to come off the bench.”
The winner of next season’s HSBC Asian Five Nations Top 5 will directly qualify as Asia’s representative for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.