TEENAGE rugby star Matthew Ferguson lined up for Scotland against England in a Home Nations U19 encounter.

The 17-year-old centre, from Acomb, played an integral role as Scotland almost snatched a memorable victory.

But the rugby league match, at the Leigh Miners Institute ground in Wigan, finished in a 12-12 draw after a late score by the hosts.

It was a surreal day for Ferguson, who grew up in England but qualifies to play for Scotland because his father, Brian, hails from Fife.

The former pupil at Hexham’s Queen Elizabeth High School said: “It was a bit strange to play against England but I’m very much part of the Scotland set-up and I enjoyed it.

“I’ve already played against Wales once, and Ireland twice, so I’m used to playing against the other Home Nations.”

Ferguson said even his English mum Paula was fully behind the Scots in a match which could have gone either way.

“We started as underdogs,” he said. “At half time it was 6-0 to England and we were quite pleased that they had only scored one try.

“We were happy with how we were performing and felt we could make an impact on the game in the second half.”

Ferguson assisted a crucial Scotland try during the second period as the visitors battled their way back into the game.

“We went on to take the lead, and even though we were the underdogs, it was frustrating to let them get away with a draw. But it’s a performance we can take a lot of confidence from and it was a great experience.”

Having played rugby union since the age of five, Ferguson only took up rugby league three years ago to continue playing his favourite sport during the summer months.

After captaining Scotland at U17 level, he’s now playing international rugby in the U19 age category, as well as senior rugby with Edinburgh Eagles.

In addition, he is part of Newcastle Thunder’s training squad and is currently studying a BTEC sport course in rugby excellence at Tyne Metropolitan College.

It has been a busy year for Ferguson, who has worked at E.T. Fitness and Therapy in Hexham, where he helped Prudhoe & Stocksfield’s players prepare for their new season.

He also remains involved with Tynedale RFC, where has been part of the junior set up for most of his life.

The youngster has set his sights on making the Scottish squad for the European Championships in Italy, next September.

From a rugby family, his older brother Carl Ferguson, now in his early 20s, played rugby union for Newcastle Falcons at U16 level.