Napier players look to touch down in Sweden for GB

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Three Gridiron players from Napier University in Edinburgh expect to learn later today if they have moved closer to a place in the Great Britain Lions student team who will tour Sweden in April, writes BILL LOTHIAN.

The talented trio are running back Jamie Welsh, linebacker Ryan Strachan, and lineman Hamish Coull who were in Loughborough at the weekend having been selected from the country’s 360 top performers from 72 teams who were tested on strength, speed and agility.

They must now wait to see if they are amongst the 60 invited to training sessions in January with the final travelling squad expected to number 40.

The players were accompanied by Pete Laird, Napier’s Head Coach and GB Defensive Co-Ordinator.

“This will be the third time I’ve been involved with the student GB programme and my second time as the Defensive Co-ordinator. To be given the opportunity to coach on the staff that Head Coach Wayne Hill has put together ranks as one my proudest moments in my career,” said Laird.

The Lions will play Sweden on April 6 as part of a three-day visit but the squad will be together for almost a week in addition to two training camps in preparation for the tour. The Swedish play some of the highest standard American Football in Europe according to coach Laird, who added: “This will be a very tough game. I was very pleased that our applicants were invited (to Loughborough).

“I’ve had a look at a lot of Swedish football on video in preparation and we will need to be at our best to win this.”