Internationals Scotland rugby league

Northern_Union

Guest
https://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_league/7165180.stm

When Scotland named their 24-man squad for the last World Cup in 2000, there was not a single Scottish-born player in it.

Instead, with the latest copy of Genealogy Monthly tucked under their arms, officials trawled England, Australia and New Zealand for players they thought would represent the Saltire with pride and distinction.

They even recruited an Australian, Shaun McRae, as coach.

Sadly for the Scots, the move backfired.

Losses to New Zealand Maori, Ireland and Samoa meant their campaign ended abruptly at the group stages.

Not only that, but the decision to place their faith in foreigners rather than home-grown talent upset the grass-roots brigade and left many wondering if the game of rugby league had a future north of the border.

If you suddenly scour Australia for people with Scottish grannies, what does that say to the boys who have been here for the last six or seven years and what does it say to the players of the future?

Mark Dingwall
Scotland RL vice-chairman

Eight years on, the resurgent Scots are determined not to make the same mistakes again as they step up their preparations for the next World Cup, which gets underway in Australia in October.

They may still employ a foreign head coach in Steve McCormack, although the Englishman has, after five years at the helm, repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to the Scottish cause.

And they continue to draw on players from both Super League and the NRL.

But they have told all those World Cup wannabes cynically hunting for a Scottish grandparent to find another bandwagon to jump on.

"If people think they can roll up because they fancy a trip to Australia, well, they've got a wee bit of a shock coming because they won't be there," said Mark Dingwall, Scottish Rugby League's vice-chairman.

"If you suddenly scour Australia for people with Scottish grannies, what does that say to the boys who have been here for the last six or seven years and what does it say to the players of the future?


Ben Fisher has played his part in Scotland's World Cup qualification

"Will they make the commitment to Scotland if they are going to be edged aside when the glory days come?

"That's not the business we are in. It's not the business Steve McCormack is in and it's not the business his assistant Dave Rotheram is in.

"They are committed to Scotland and to building for the future."

Such a stance makes perfect sense for the Scots, even if it does buck the trend in an era when the holy grail in sport seems to be short-term gain rather than long-term reward.

While Ireland have already hinted they will attempt to boost their World Cup hopes by rummaging around the NRL for players with the necessary ancestry, Scotland insist they will do no such thing.

They say they are committed to developing and nurturing home-grown talent and establishing a clear pathway to the international arena from their own domestic leagues

606: DEBATE
How will Scotland do at the 2008 World Cup in Australia?

In other words, they will continue taking small but significant steps in pursuit of progress rather than risking everything on one throw of the dice.

And that means keeping faith with their current crop of players, which includes the likes of Andy Todd and David Lynn of amateur side Edinburgh Eagles, as they look to make a big impression in Australia.

"Most of these lads have been in the squad or in contention every year I've been coaching so we know each other well," said McCormack recently.

"If they're fit and in form next year then it's only right that they get a chance."

Few gave McCormack's men much a chance of winning a place at the 2008 World Cup.


Lee Gilmour played for Scotland at the last World Cup in 2000

When Georgia were expelled from their qualifying group for forfeiting a preliminary round game against Russia, they were left with the task of beating Wales, a much stronger team on paper, to earn a trip Down Under.

But after causing an upset in the first game at Bridgend back in October 2006, the Scots did just enough in defeat in the return game in Glasgow two months ago to go through on aggregate.

Now the emphasis is on causing a shock or two in Australia.

"We don't just want to go to the World Cup, we want to compete at the World Cup - and I don't think there is any doubt we will," said Dingwall.

"Once the players are over that whitewash it's 80 minutes of death and glory."

He added: "We are a very well-organised side, that's on the pitch and off the pitch.

"Nothing is done off the cuff. If we don't need to take a chance on anything, we don't take it."

Scotland open their World Cup campaign against France in Canberra on 26 October before taking on Fiji at the Bluetongue Stadium on the Central Coast on 5 November.

We've got two fields of dreams over in Australia and we want to be putting out a team that is not just there to make up the numbers

Mark Dingwall

Whoever finishes top of Group B will then take on the winners of Group C, which includes Ireland, Tonga and Samoa, for a place in the semi-finals.

"Everything is going to be put into giving those guys on the pitch the best chance to win," added Dingwall.

"We are not going to hope they do well, we are going to give them every opportunity to perform to their best.

"We've got two fields of dreams over in Australia and we want to be putting out a team that is not just there to make up the numbers.

"For many of these guys this is a once in a lifetime chance to be a somebody."
 

JonB_old

Guest
I think that is terrible if I was a top league player in Scotland I would feel horribly insulted.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
I think that is terrible if I was a top league player in Scotland I would feel horribly insulted.

Back then, yes, but they appear to have learnt from their lessons, which is good not only for Scottish RL, but international RL in general.

If I was a good enough player, I'd be eligible for Scotland through the very ancestry rule they discuss in this article, as my maternal grandmother is 100% Scottish. I take great pride in my Scottish blood lines, but while I would be disappointed in this fanciful scenario that I wouldn't be considered for the team, I'd take it on the chin, knowing that it's the best thing for Scotland, and that the country comes before me.

Plus, with non-Scottish born players like myself, there are always other options - England and New Zealand, in my particular case.

I wish the NZRL had taken this approach when they were looking to sign Moi Moi and Tuiaki, although I still think much of that may have been managers playing the media.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
During the qualifying games there were 4 domestic players which is the minimum number i believe.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Only four? The three Henderson brothers were all born in Scotland, were they not? I'd be surprised - even if only four players were from the domestic competition - that only four were Scottish born.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Only four? The three Henderson brothers were all born in Scotland, were they not? I'd be surprised - even if only four players were from the domestic competition - that only four were Scottish born.

Born in Scotland, raised in Sydney.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Born in Scotland, raised in Sydney.

I'm aware of that...the question was how many Scottish born players were in the team, and the answer provided was that only four domestic players were in the squad. Any idea how many Scottish born players made the side, regardless of where they were raised?
 

Northern_Union

Guest
Last i heard they had 18 clubs playing in 2 divisions based in and around Glasgow.

https://www.scotlandrugbyleague.org.uk/

I notice that there website is now linked to Scottish Sportnetwork which i read rightly is the government sport website which is probably tied in with the money they were given last season.
 

Northern_Union

Guest
seems to have dropped to 16 clubs now which is odd seeing as playing numbers are increasing each season and with it government sponsorship.
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
Last i heard they had 18 clubs playing in 2 divisions based in and around Glasgow.

https://www.scotlandrugbyleague.org.uk/

I notice that there website is now linked to Scottish Sportnetwork which i read rightly is the government sport website which is probably tied in with the money they were given last season.

It's embarrassing that the Scottish RL website is better than the NZRL, but it would be an even worse scenario if their website was somehow worse...
 

Jesbass_old

Guest
seems to have dropped to 16 clubs now which is odd seeing as playing numbers are increasing each season and with it government sponsorship.

Brough would have to be the superstar of the team, would he not? A high quality player, although I don't admittedly know many of his team mates.
 

playdaball_old

Guest
The Hendersons were born in England I think. Scottish father.

I thought there were only around 5 teams playing in Scotland.
 

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