Scotland to Brough it


5th June 2013

Scotland coach Steve McCormack has confirmed that Danny Brough is in his World Cup plans, along with another one-time England candidate, Ian Henderson.

The 30-year-old Brough announced earlier this week that he was no longer available for England.

Brough, who has a Glaswegian grandfather, captained the Scots in the 2008 World Cup before being persuaded by McNamara to switch his allegiance.

But his only appearance for England was in the second of the two Exiles fixtures last season and, frustrated by his lack of opportunities, he will be welcomed back into the fold by McCormack.

"This is my 10th year with Scotland and ever since I took over, Danny has showed a massive commitment to us," McCormack told Press Association Sport.

"I've kept in regular touch with Danny and we spoke only last week.

"We haven't picked the squad yet and we certainly haven't chosen our captain but we want as many world-class players as we can and Danny fits that bill."

McCormack, who combines his part-time role with Scotland with a full-time teaching job, has selected an initial squad with his assistant Dave Rotheram and the rest of the management staff, who are currently verifying eligibility.

McCormack says he has received approaches from several NRL-based players with Scottish heritage and says his final squad will contain a blend of home-grown and international talent for what looks to be testing group matches against Tonga and Italy sides bolstered by NRL players.

"We certainly have to have a stronger squad than last year but we've a very loyal band of players and it's a matter of getting the right balance," he said.

"We've had some people put their hands up in the NRL and Super League and I think people will be surprised when they see our squad.

"We want to get out of our group and, if we do that, who knows what can happen?"

McCormack confirmed he has spoken to London Broncos winger or full-back Michael Robertson, who played in the 2008 World Cup while with Manly Sea Eagles, and Catalan Dragons hooker Ian Henderson, who lined up alongside brothers Kevin and Andrew five years ago.

The Torquay-born brothers, who have a Scottish father, made history by playing for one country at the same time but are unlikely to repeat the feat this year.

Andrew, the Sheffield Eagles hooker, is likely to figure in his second World Cup alongside Ian but Kevin, formerly with Wakefield Trinity Wildcats and Leigh, is now playing country rugby league in Australia.

Like Brough, Ian decided to switch his allegiance to England and was named in McNamara's elite training squad last year but never made it as far as the team and has pledged himself once more to Scotland.

The Scots have finalised their training bases and are hoping to confirm a warm-up match against Papua New Guinea.