McCormack revelling in Scots depth

Scotland coach Steve McCormack believes that he has a good pool of talent from which to choose his squad for this year’s European Championship.

There are now at least 50 players who have represented Scotland at full, A, Student or youth level now playing in the professional leagues in the UK and Australia.

Another six or so full-time professionals have also contacted the Scotland hierarchy with a view to pulling on the dark blue and representing their family’s heritage.

The likes of Danny Brough, Joe Wardle and Adam Walker are also keen to play, despite it being expected that they might want to take some time off at the end of a busy campaign.

“We have managed to develop some real depth to our squad over the last four years with a lot of players getting capped, and the success of the team has meant there is serious competition for places now,” McCormack told the RLEF website.

“The most pleasing thing for me has been how our high profile players have said they are desperate to play again this autumn, even though some of them haven’t had a full off-season for years.

“That shows the team spirit we’ve got going now. And when the young lads see the experienced star names turning up every year with that passion, it rubs off on them.

“We have some exciting players coming through who need to step up now and see if they can cope with international rugby.

“There are lads playing Super League Academy who (assistant coach) Dave Rotheram and I are keeping tabs on, and some youngsters coming through in League 1 and the domestic scene in Scotland.

“Don’t forget there are also quite a few experienced players who missed last year’s championship through injury, the likes of Dale Ferguson and Alex Szostak, who are back playing and will be competing for places.”

NRL players Luke Douglas, Peter Wallace and Kane Linnett will not be coming over for the tournament, though all three remain committed to the Bravehearts’ cause.

“All three of them are fully committed to Scotland,” McCormack added.

“But it doesn’t make economic or sporting sense to bring them over this time and again next year.

“They need a good off-season and will hopefully be fit and raring to go next autumn in the Four Nations against the leading three nations.”

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