Scotland-Williamson hopes England can inspire like class of 2003

Londoner and Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Christian Scotland-Williamson says England have inspired a generation with their performances at the World Cup in Japan.

And he is hopeful they will make the final and allow him to finally watch a game live.

The former Worcester lock quit rugby two years ago to switch to American Football, but still keeps a close eye on his old sport.

Christian Scotland-Williamson, right, is his rugby union days
Christian Scotland-Williamson, right, is his rugby union days (Daniel Hambury/PA)

Due to the time difference in the United States, Scotland-Williamson has only watched the highlights of England’s games so far and cannot view Saturday’s semi-final with New Zealand live due to his practice with the Steelers.

But the 26-year-old from Waltham Forest insists anything can happen in Yokohama when Eddie Jones’ side take on defending champions the All Blacks.

“I’ve been involved in games where we’ve been the heavy underdog and come out on top. I’ve also been involved in games where we have lost as favourites,” Scotland-Williamson said.

“England are in a fantastic position, anything can happen, and they just need to execute and not let New Zealand have too much of the ball.”

The Steelers tight end added: “It’s been hard to keep track of the World Cup. I’ve been watching a lot of the highlights and trying to keep track of the scores.

“Games are on here at either three or five in the morning and with my practice schedule I haven’t been able to watch them live, but I was delighted to see England get the win over Australia and make it into the semis.

“We have practice on Saturday unfortunately but if I didn’t I would (watch the semi-final). Saying that, if they make it to the final, I will probably have to.

“The last time we won it (in 2003) I was just starting secondary school and it was one of the main reasons I got into rugby. If they can inspire another generation to chase an odd-shaped ball, then that would be great.”

After turning his back on rugby in December 2017, Scotland-Williamson’s main focus now is on progressing in the NFL with Steelers.

On Sunday, their divisional rivals the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Los Angeles Rams at Wembley in the third NFL match to be hosted in England this month.

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium proved to be a big success earlier in October and while the 26-year-old is an Arsenal fan, he conceded the new Spurs ground is revolutionary.

Checking out the talent at the #NFLAcademy.@1CSW | @SpursOfficialpic.twitter.com/VpeJWniWQz

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 2, 2019

He added: “I was lucky enough to go and check out the stadium when I had some downtime. It’s an amazing facility.

“I’m an Arsenal fan though so I’m happy I was there on American football duty. From what I’ve seen and heard the games have been incredible.

“To have a purpose-built NFL stadium, the first of its kind outside America, is revolutionary and has been a fantastic success so far. To back it up and have two games at Wembley, an iconic stadium, is great.

“If the Steelers can play at Wembley or Spurs next year it would be a dream come true. I would have about 50 to 100 people in the crowd.”

– Watch Cincinnati Bengals @ LA Rams at Wembley Stadium on Sunday with live coverage on BBC Two from 4:30pm and on Sky Sports Action from 4:00pm.

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