McCormack promises strong Scotland for Four Nations

Scotland coach Steve McCormack has revealed he has tied down the services of a number of NRL-based stars for this year’s Four Nations – including the trio who represented them in the 2013 World Cup.

The Bravehearts made the quarter-finals three years ago, with Peter Wallace, Kane Linnett and Luke Douglas all playing a key role.

And McCormack revealed to League Express this week that they, along with St George’s Euan Aitken, have all committed to the cause this year too.

“We’ve spoke to them at length and we’ve pinned them down,” he said.

“I’ve kept in touch with them since the World Cup and I’ve got to stress that like three years ago, they’re coming over for the right reasons again.

“They’re great lads off the field, and as well as them and Euan, there’ll be a couple more too.

“We’ve got the balance right between Super League and NRL players in the past, and we’ll do that again this year while adding a bit of quality to the mix.”

McCormack will name an extended squad before finalising a 23-man group for the Four Nations later next month, and there is expected to be a strong contingent of Super League-based players involved.

The likes of Joe Wardle and even Castleford’s Frankie Mariano are believed to be in the mix – and McCormack also confirmed that Danny Brough will remain captain: with Hull hooker Danny Houghton also believed to be on the radar of the Scots.

“He epitomises everything we’re about,” he said of Brough.

“I gave him the option to miss last year but he chose to play and he’ll be rewarded with the captaincy again.”

And McCormack also said that whilst he is keen to reward those players who earned qualification for the tournament two years ago, it is vital to get a strong squad assembled.

“There is an element of rewarding people but we’re aware we want to do well.

“We know we won the European comp but the stage we’re on now is completely different.

“We need to put a strong squad out and get the balance right like we did three years ago. Since then we’ve rewarded players who have come through the system and that will happen again – with guys like David Scott outstanding from start to finish.

“It’s the premier tournament this year and we’ve done a heck of a lot of preparation. We’re looking in good shape on and off the field and I can’t wait.”