Growing up their desire to win led to “full on” fights between them on the pitch, now identical twins are pushing each other on to become better players.
Timmy and Callum Kennedy (18) hope to represent Scotland after being selected for the Rugby League U19s to play at the European Championships in Belgrade, Serbia in August.
The Glenrothes pair, who have only been playing rugby league for 12 months, have earned call-ups after impressive performances for Edinburgh Eagles and Scotland U19s.
Callum, younger by a few minutes, says Glenrothes Rugby and Howe of Fife played key roles in his development as well as hours of practising his eye-catching side step in his back garden - even if he was subject of a few stares from the neighbours.
He has earned an academy place at Newcastle Thunder, while Timmy plays for rugby union side Howe of Fife. The talented duo will join Scotland rugby training on June 3 before the Championships and Callum is relishing the prospect of competing on the world stage.
He told the Gazette: “It’s a great opportunity to showcase what we can do as rugby players and it is a big event for both of us. I think Scotland have got a pretty good chance to come first or second.
"I’ve been looking at the path we could take and we’ve got a really nice run into the final. We’ve got Ireland first then it could be Italy or Serbia if we win that it could be England in the final.”
Callum admits sibling rivalry has spurred each on, he said: “We used to have so many fights on the pitch, we had that same desire to win. If we were on different teams we hated it. I hated contact, he was good at it. He would hit me, I would take it the wrong way and try to hit him back, and it would become a full on fight on the park.
“Now it has calmed down, we are each other’s motivation and we push each other on to be better.
"It’s good having a brother there in the side as it gives you extra confidence and belief.”
Callum admitted putting on the Scotland top for the first time was a bit “surreal” and it wasn’t until his Glenrothes grandparents Nancy and Andrew Hannah came down to watch him play in London that their achievements hit home.
Callum said: “Seeing how proud it made my grandparents and the rest of the family made me realise what we’d done.
"My grandad is quiet and doesn’t shed much emotion but you can see how happy he was. He couldn’t stop smiling. That’s all they ever wanted – to see their grandchildren represent their country.”
With no funding given to rugby league in Scotland, the players rely on fundraising to help them to fulfil their dreams. The cost in this instance for each player £1250. Fife Council has already given them a grant, while so have MGM Timbers Glenrothes.
This tournament means even more to Callum after he missed out on the Scotland U23 Commonwealth nine-a-side tournament in Australia in February due to not raising enough funds.
Callum said: “I would have loved to have had that chance. When you are playing you just want that chance to be spotted. When that is taking away from you it is hard, but it makes me even more determined for the European Championships.
"We’re about halfway there in terms of fundraising. Special thanks to Fife Council for the grant and to my mum Belinda she has done so much.”
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