Lachlan Coote has to be one of the most underrated yet best players we’ve had in Super League in recent years.
Brought in as a replacement for Ben Barba at the end of 2018 taking on Barba’s number 23 shirt, Coote may have been less of a show stealer but was a crucial part of a St Helens side who claimed three consecutive Grand Final wins with him at the back providing steel, game management and flashes of skill.
His time at St Helens came to an end last year as he took up a new challenge at Hull KR as one of the major coups of the season.
However, injuries derailed any impact he hoped to have at Craven Park. Coote routinely picked up head knocks as he only made 17 appearances for the club throughout the season the last of which came against the Saints ending his season and forcing him to take a step back meaning he won’t be available to Scotland for the World Cup as he looks to get himself right in time for the 2023 season.
Coote made his Scotland debut back in the 2016 Four Nations and picked up the Man of the Match award in a famous draw against New Zealand.
His absence means Toulouse man Matty Russell is likely to play fullback.
Another man with bags of quality and experience, as another NRL winner like Coote, at Hull KR is also a doubt for Scotland in the shape of Kane Linnett.
Part of Hull KR’s potent left edge, the big red machine has again been brilliant in 2022 when he has played but he too has suffered with injuries in the story of Hull KR’s season.
He suffered a torn bicep which may prompt him to duck out of the World Cup to focus on getting right for next year as well with doubts hanging over his availability for the tournament according to zerotackle in what would be a substantial blow to Scotland’s hopes of making a splash in the tournament.