McCormack commits to Scotland

Scotland head coach Steve McCormack and his assistants Dave Rotheram and John Duffy have committed to the cause until after the 2017 World Cup.

McCormack, who has been in the role since 2004, led the Bravehearts to the World Cup quarter-finals, where they were beaten by New Zealand.

He had planned to step down, but has had a change of heart.

The longest serving head coach in international rugby league said: “It would have been easy to say ‘We’ve done it, we’ve achieved what we wanted so I’ll go now’.

“But it’s not something to give up like that. We’ve got a youthful team and we’re all relishing the challenge to improve on last year and build on that success over the next four years. I’ve got a great staff, who all rose to the occasion at the World Cup, and it’s important to keep that continuity.”

Scotland expect to learn next week that their European Championship opponents in the autumn will be France, Wales and Ireland, with the winners going into the 2016 Four Nations tournament alongside England, Australia and New Zealand.

The nation that finishes bottom this year will be relegated from the European Championship in 2015 to make way for England, with the Great Britain Lions touring down under next year.

McCormack added: “If we can keep the team together – and I’m confident most of our players from last year will be available again this year – then we should be serious contenders for the Europeans.

“Having the Four Nations as a prize for the winners is a huge incentive for our players, as is the opportunity of being picked for a Great Britain tour. It’s an exciting time for Scotland Rugby League.”

The former Widnes and Whitehaven coach is visiting Australia at Easter, where he plans to meet with Scotland‘s NRL-based contingent Luke Douglas, Peter Wallace and Kane Linnett, plus James McManus and Keith Galloway, who both missed the World Cup through injury.

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