Scotland coach Steve McCormack has asserted that he will have a strong squad of players available to him when the Bravehearts rise to the challenge of the 2016 Four Nations.
Two NRL veterans in particular are likely to be wearing the Dark Blue, when the tournament finally rolls around, with prop Keith Galloway (now at Leeds) and North Queensland Cowboys full-back Lachlan Coote close to being confirmed.
“I met both of those players in Sydney last year,” McCormack told Love Rugby League.
“Keith was a player we’ve spoken to over the past couple of years but he’s got a couple of injuries late in the season which has stopped him representing Scotland.
“He’s somebody we’re in discussions with, I know he’s got family in Scotland and he’s very proud of that.
“I did speak with Lachlan. He was outstanding last year, and he’s the type of player that we’d like to get on board.
“Nothing is confirmed with either of those yet, but they’re the type of players we want.
“With the Four Nations and the World Cup over the next two years, those are the two premier international competitions that anyone can play in.
“So it would be good to get players of that calibre of those two involved.”
Other NRL players are also expected to return to the colurs in 2016.
“It would be great to have Peter Wallace back in the squad. He was a stand out in the World Cup and is an outstanding player on and off the field.”
“If you add to the 2013 World Cup squad with a few additions.
“We had a great World Cup in 2013 getting to the quarter-finals, and if we can improve the squad with a few more individuals, then I’m sure we’ll do well.”
The team that takes the field in the Four Nations will be a very different animal, however.
“There’ll be a massive difference,” McCormack explained.
“Our hand wasn’t forced to a certain degree with last year’s team – we made a conscious decision to play a younger team.
“So the team this year will be totally different from the team that played in the European Cup this year.
“But, to be fair, some of the younger players that played in the European Championship this year have put their hands up.
“We had some good performances in there, and it’s increased our player pool.
“I spoke to Frankie last year,” McCormack confirmed.
“He had a season disrupted with injury, but he was interested last year.
“But his priority was getting fit. He’s certainly a player who’s on our radar.”
“I haven’t commented on the Benji Marshall story, and I won’t do,” McCormack said.
“There’s a lot of other players who have put their hand up, and over the last couple of years we’ve got a good culture and a good ennvironment, and a good set of players who want to play for Scotland for the right reasons.
“Hopefully that will continue over the next couple of years.”
Unfortunately, McCormack does not yet know where his team will be playing in the Four Nations yet.
Scostoun Stadium, the home of rugby union’s Glasgow Warriors, has been mooted as a possible venue.
McCormack is hopeful that the Bravehearts will get at least one chance to turn out in front of a passionate Scottish home crowd.
“There’s nothing decided yet, we’re in discussions with the RFL and Four Nations,” he explained.
“Scotland are actually a guest of the tournament, so the other three countries involved decide where and when the games are played.
“The television wil dictate that too. We don’t have any decision-making powers within the tournament, but we’re quite happy with that.
“At the moment, the Four Nations are in discussions with the people up in Scotland in the relevant places.
“I think we’ve earned the right and deserve the right to play up in Scotland too.
“We’ve had experience of playing at Scotstoun too, we played Ireland there a few years back.
“It’s a great stadium. I know that’s one of the venues in discussion.
“But the venues are decided by the other three nations.”