ENGLAND are coming home at the weekend from football’s World Cup but another sport is coming home to the country where it was invented, indeed less than a couple of miles from where it was devised.

Quidditch was dreamed up as the sport of young wizards by author J.K. Rowling as she famously composed her first Harry Potter novel in a cafe in Edinburgh’s Old Town. On Saturday, just a mile or so away on Edinburgh’s famous Meadows, the capital will host the latest Quidditch Premier League (QPL) fixture featuring our national team, the Scottish Thistles.

There’s no broomsticks of the flying sort in this form of quidditch, but every player has to have a broom between his or her legs.

It’s a fast and furious sport and is already being played by 20,000 people in 25 countries with an international rule book that specifies inclusivity – two teams of seven players from a squad of 21 are on the pitch at any one time and no more than four of the seven can be of the same gender.

On Saturday the Scottish Thistles will be joined on the Meadows by East Midland Archers, West Midland Revolution, Yorkshire Roses and Northern Watch who together make up the Northern Division of the QPL.

The fixture comprises of four matches, where each team plays the other four teams in the division. The QPL season will then conclude in late August in a championship event held at Cardiff Arms Park, bringing the top teams from each division together to crown a UK champion.

As a new addition to the QPL, the Scottish Thistles want to set a precedent and have so far impressed all of their opponents.

The Thistles won their first game against the Yorkshire Roses at the first northern fixture in Manchester last month and the team is keen to continue defying expectations.

Nevertheless, the Thistles are relatively new and inexperienced and are not expected to win the championship, but will be giving their all on Saturday as quidditch comes home to the city of its birth.

Co-captain Kieran Newton said: “Going into this tournament we have absolutely been seen as underdogs, but we plan on showing people that Scotland isn’t to be taken lightly.”

Thistles manager and co-captain Gavin Hughes said: “This is our home fixture, our chance to do Scotland proud on home turf, and we intend to fight for every inch of every game.

“The morale in the team is high and we have no preconceived expectations, so that should give us the ability to play with absolute freedom. Our opponents have everything to lose”.