A FORMER North Berwick High School pupil is hoping to pull on a Scotland shirt and represent his country.

Matt Hogg has been named in a 33-man extended squad ahead of the rugby league clash between Scotland and Jamaica later this month.

Head coach Nathan Graham will whittle down the numbers during a training camp ahead of the contest on October 24.

Hogg, who plays for Edinburgh Eagles, is aiming to make the cut and add to his three caps for the national side.

He said: “It is always a bit of an honour representing Scotland.

“Not many people get to do it and get a really good chance of an experience of what it is like to be a professional day in, day out.

“They really buy into it and it is a great few weeks with the boys.

“When you go into the training camp, the professional guys don’t see you as different; there is no divide in the squad.

“The guys get in together and there is a real blend between professional, semi-professional and amateur.

“You get goosebumps every time Flower of Scotland is played through the age groups and playing for the senior team is always quite special.”

Hogg was born in north London before moving with his family to North Berwick aged four.

From there, he played rugby union for both the town’s club and the secondary school.

But as a teenager, he decided to make the switch to rugby league.

Hogg, who studied marketing and management at Newcastle University before going on to study international relations, said: “I have always watched rugby league.

“A couple of mates, who were a bit older than me, played and I thought I would give it a try.

“I played for the Scotland under-19s before university and at university I wanted a bit of a change.

“I joined the rugby league club and it went from there.”

Jamaica are classed as the home team for the contest at Featherstone, south of Leeds, with a big crowd expected.

Hogg, who will begin a new job with Deloitte in London later this year, said the popularity of the sport was growing in Scotland.

He said: “Scotland are up there [in terms of stature in rugby league].

“It depends who is available because we have got a couple of guys who play in [Australia and New Zealand’s] NRL [National Rugby League] and they are very proud of their Scottish heritage through grandparents or Scottish parents.

“There are probably five or six of them and it adds a lot of quality to the team.

“They will play in the Four Nations or the World Cup.”

The 23-year-old noted there had been an increase in the numbers playing the sport on the Caribbean island.