McCormack to stick with Bravehearts for Ireland clash

Scotland head coach Steve McCormack will stick with the group of players who slipped up against Wales last Friday, confident they will make amends this Friday night against Ireland at Galashiels.

The disappointing performance at Wrexham and the 18-12 defeat means Scotland must beat the Irish if they are to keep the defence of their European Championship title alive.

“We have got a good squad and we have good people watching the squad, and a result like the one at Wrexham doesn’t change that,” declared McCormack.  “We’ve had an outstanding record these last few years so we know what we have got, and you have to face the defeats as you face the victories. So we will keep the same personnel although we might tinker about with the side.”

“It hurts to get beat in any game,” admits McCormack, whose squad will go to their Peebles base tomorrow. “The players will lift themselves – you only had to look at the players in the changing room after Friday and see they are hurt.  But the talk already is about next week: we get back together, go to Gala, and they won’t need any picking up by the time that game comes.”

It will be the second successive year that Scotland have taken an international to the Borders, having played France at Gala RFC last autumn, an extraordinary game in which Scotland made a thrilling late comeback to keep their title hopes alive.

“The Borders rugby supporters were fantastic last year and a lot of new people came to watch our code,” says McCormack, who has coached Scotland since 2004. “As the game went on they started understanding it a bit more, and really got behind us. They want to see a successful Scottish team. Scottish people are very proud people, and we are expecting more of the same on Friday night.

“We couldn’t thank the people of Galashiels and the Borders enough last year, and I’m sure it will be the same this year.”