Scotland national rugby league team

Scotland national rugby league team

Infobox rugby league nation
Name = Scotland
Badge = ScotlandRLlogo.jpg
Badge_size = 150px
Nickname = The Bravehearts
Association = Scotland Rugby League
Region = Europe
Coach = flagicon|England Steve McCormack
Captain = Danny Brough
Home Stadium = Old Anniesland
RLIF Rank = 11th
Most caps = Darren Shaw (12)
Top try-scorer = Danny Arnold (8)
Top goal-scorer = Matt Crowther (20)
Top point-scorer = Matt Crowther (52)
First game = flagicon|Ireland|4prov Ireland 26 - 22 Scotland flagicon|Scotland (Dublin, Ireland; 13 August 1995)
Largest win = flagicon|France France 20 - 42 Scotland flagicon|Scotland (Perpignan, France; 3 July 2001)
Largest loss = flagicon|Ireland|4prov Ireland 43 - 10 Scotland flagicon|Scotland (Dublin, Ireland; 29 October 2004)
World cup apps = 1
World cup first = 2000
World cup best = Round 1, 2000
The Scotland national rugby league team represent Scotland in international rugby league tournaments. The team is run under the auspices of the Scotland Rugby League, [ [ Scotland RL - Play For Scotland] Retrieved on 7 February 2008.] and are nicknamed "The Bravehearts". [ 2008 World Cup - Scotland] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] Scotland are not regarded as a test nation. [ [ NationMaster - Test Nations] Retrieved on 14 September 2008.] Following the breakup of the Great Britain team, [ [ The Guardian - Morley Prepares To Bid Great Britain Farewell] Retrieved on 24 July 2008.] Scottish players will now play solely for Scotland, apart from occasional Southern Hemisphere tours, for which the Great Britain team is expected to be revived. [ [ The Rugby Football League - Great Britain Split] Retrieved on 7 February 2008.]

Though its foundations may date back to as early as 1904, the team formally began in 1995, making them the newest international rugby league team in Great Britain. In their first match they played Ireland, losing narrowly. Since then, Ireland has became the team's main rival, the two teams having played each other many times in their short histories. Scotland have also played the United States, France and Russia amongst others, although they have never played their traditional rival England. In 2000 they qualified for their first ever World Cup, but failed to make an impact, losing all three of their group matches; [ [ BBC Sport - An Unwanted Treble] Retrieved on 22 July 2008,] however, their biggest losing margin was just 12 points. [ [ ArmchairGM - 2000 World Cup Results] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] In 2008 they beat Wales over two matches to qualify for the 2008 World Cup. [ [ The Independent - Scotland Rally To Claim World Cup Spot] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.]

Scotland play in a dark blue strip , similar to the nation's football and rugby union teams, with blue shirt, shorts and socks. A blue and white shield with a thistle, the Scottish emblem, is the team's badge. The shirt has rarely been significantly changed, although in the early days of the team, white was also used on the shirts. [ [ BBC Sport - Wednesday World Cup Pictures] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.]

Currently the team are ranked eleventh in the world, ahead of Samoa and Russia but behind neighbours Wales and Ireland. [ [ Rugby League International Federation - January Rankings] Retrieved on 7 April 2007.] In the Rugby League European Federation, Scotland are ranked fourth behind Ireland but ahead of Lebanon. [ [ Rugby League European Federation - Euro Seedings] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] Englishman Steve McCormack is the teams coach, [ [ Scotland RL - Mac Set For World Cup] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] having coached since 2004, [Rugby League World - Mac Planning Tartan Legacy, Issue 326, May 2008, Page 20. Retrieved on 24 July 2008.] with Danny Brough captaining the side. [Rugby League World - Brough 'N' Ready, Issue 328, July 2008, Page 18. Retrieved on 22 July 2008.]



It could be argued that the foundations for the Scottish team began in 1904. On the 5 April 1904 England played an international match against the "Other Nationalities", a team comprising of Welshmen and Scotsmen, in Wigan. [ RL1895 - The First International Match] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] It was a 12-a-side game. Of the twelve players who played for the Other Nationalities team two of them were Scotsmen coming from Northern English clubs, including captain George Frater. After 80 minutes the Other Nationalities had beaten England 9-3. The team carried on for another two years, playing England in 1905, losing 26-11, and in 1906, drawing 3-3. [ [ England RL - A Proud Past] . Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] The team was regularly revived, most notably in the early 1930s and in 1949. [ [ Hall Of Fame - Euro 1935] Retrieved on 1 October 2008.]

The Bravehearts and The Wolfhounds - 1995

Both Scotland and Ireland had been developing rugby league in their respective nations for several years. This was especially true at student level, with a Scotland student team having played regularly since 1987 [ [ University League - Scotland] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] and having competed in the 1992 Students World Cup [ [ University League - 1992 History] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] . But it was decided that the time was right for an open-age national team to attempt to be entered into an Emerging Nations Tournament that would coincide with the 1995 World Cup, that the Rugby League International Federation had recently announced.

Both Scotland Rugby League and Rugby League Ireland arranged a match on the 13 August, 1995 at the Royal Dublin Showground in Dublin, Ireland. However the Rugby Football League provided no financial support to either teamRugby League Bravehearts - Dublin Debut And The Emerging Nations, Page 39. Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] . Luckily the Scotland team managed to get sponsored, and the money was used for the ferry crossing, but each individual player had to pay for basic accommodation. The Scotland squad was largely made up of players who had played in the student squads, but a few professionals were also included.

Just before the start of the match, after the Scottish team had spent a night at a youth hostel, the Irish Rugby Football Union prevented the teams from getting changed at the arranged Blackrook CollegeRugby League Bravehearts - Dublin Debut And The Emerging Nations, Page 40. Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] . A new location was quickly found but it was half a mile away from the ground, and so the players had to walk that distance in their playing kit.

The match was looking like it would be scoreless at half-time until just before the break, centre Lee Child scored to put Ireland ahead. After the break Scotland hit back, Sean Cusack scoring Scotland's first ever try. Gavin Manclark then scored to propel Scotland into the lead. This did not last long though, as Leo Casey scored for Ireland in the 55th minute. Ireland then scored again, with Seamus McCallion going over. Four minutes later in the 69th minute, Scotland quickly scored two tries with Manclark and Shelford sealing the eight points. However this was not enough as Ketteridge had only successfully kicked three conversions compared to Ireland's Ian Devery who had kicked five. The match finished with Ireland winning 26-22, but Thompson for Scotland did win Man Of The Match.

1995 Emerging Nations Tournament

After this international Scotland where allowed to take place in the Emerging Nations Tournament, which was to be held in England. On the 16 October, 1995 at Featherstone they faced Russia, who had been playing international rugby league since 1991, in their opening game in Group A. Coached by former Great Britain and England (despite the fact he was Scottish) player, George Fairbairn [ [ Hall Of Fame - George Fairbairn] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] , who put together a team of former Scotland students, rugby union players, and a few league professionals including Alan Tait [Rugby League Bravehearts - Dublin Debut And The Emerging Nations, Page 41. Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] , who played for Leeds, and who would captain the side [ [ Scotland International - Introduction] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] . The whole of the Scotland team had hired kilts to be worn pre-match [Rugby League Bravehearts - Dublin Debut And The Emerging Nations, Page 42. Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] .

The game started off well for Scotland, student James How scoring after just four minutesRugby League Bravehearts - Dublin Debut And The Emerging Nations, Page 43. Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] . And then minutes later Tait doubled the Bravehearts lead. But the Russia Bears dragged themselves back into the match, stand-off Victor Netchaev scoring first, and in the 30th minute Alexander Otradnov scored. Scotland were ahead though at half-time by four points because Russia had failed to convert their tries. In the second half it was all Scotland with only Andrey Scheglov's drop goal adding to the Bears points. On the other hand former Great Britain international Hugh Waddell, Ali Blee and Tait again all scored to seal a Scottish victory [ Scotland International - Emerging Nations Tournament] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] .


Firhill Stadium

Located in Maryhill, in north west Glasgow, Firhill Stadium was used on five occasions and was the first home of Scottish rugby league. The ground was built in 1909 and is the home for football club Partick Thistle [ [ Partick Thistle FC - History] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] . It is also now being used by Glasgow Warriors rugby union team [ [ Glasgow Warriors RU - Firhill] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] . The stadium can hold nearly 11,000 although the highest attendance for a rugby league match was just over 2,000. The first match held at Firhill was against Ireland on the 6 August, 1996. One game was played in 1997, 1998 and 1999, before Scotland hosted the New Zealand Maori team in their opening World Cup match on the 29 October 2000 [ [ BBC Sport - Maori Edge Out Unlucky Scots] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] . This was the last time that the Bravehearts played at Firhill.

Tynecastle Stadium

Scotlands third World Cup match against Samoa was held at Tynecastle in Gorgie, Edinburgh. It was the first time that the Scotland team had played a home fixture outside of Glasgow, but it was also the last, with the team moving back to Glasgow after this one match. The ground was opened in 1886 and is owned by Hearts football club [ [,,10289~538721,00.html Hearts FC - Tynecastle] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] . It has a capacity of 17,000 making it one of the largest sports stadiums in the whole of Scotland, but the World Cup match attracted just under 2,000 people [ [ BBC Sport - Scotland Crash Out] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] . It is thought that the Rugby Football League and Scotland Rugby League hugely overestimated the appeal of rugby league in Edinburgh, particularly as many Scottish rugby league teams are based in and around Glasgow [ [ Rugby League Planet - Scotland] Retrieved on 22 July 2008.] .

Old Anniesland

For their opening European Nations Cup match against Ireland on the 26 October 2003, the Bravehearts returned to Glasgow and to Old Anniesland. They have stayed their ever since. Old Anniesland is home to Glasgow Hawks rugby union club [ [ Scotland RL - Cup Schedule] Retrieved on 5 August 2008.] , one of the best Scottish amateur union sides, and houses one stand, gym facilities and an astroturfed training pitch [ [ Glasgow Hawks RU - Old Anniesland] Retrieved on 21 July 2008.] . Apart from the three European Nations Cup matches Old Anniesland has also hosted a World Cup qualifying matches on the 4 November 2007. This match was televised live on Sky Sports [ [ Scotland RL - Scotland Set For Sky Debut] Retrieved on 21 July 2008.] and saw Scotland qualify for the 2008 World Cup.


World Cup

Scotland have only competed in one World Cup, in the 2000 tournament held in the United Kingdom and France. Scotland were drawn in Group 4, with Ireland, Samoa and New Zealand Maori. It was to be the tougest group in the competition, with many of the matches being very close. [ [ CCN Sports Illustrated - 2000 World Cup Results] Retrieved on 27 August 2008.] Scotland finished bottom of the group after losing 17-16 to New Zealand Maori, 18-6 to Ireland and 20-12 to Samoa. Before the 2000 tournament, except for in 1975 [ [ 2008 World Cup - History] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] and 1995, [ [ RL1908 - World Cup] Retrieved on 23 July 2008.] Scotland were represented at the World Cup by Great Britain with several Scottish players making the team over the years. [ [ Scotland RL - Honours Board] Retrieved on 27 August 2008.] Scotland will compete in their second World Cup, the 2008 competition in Australia after successfully qualifying.

* 1954 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1957 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1960 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1968 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1970 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1972 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1975 - Not invited.
* 1977 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1988 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1992 - Represented by Great Britain.
* 1995 - Not invited.
* 2000 - Qualified. No wins in pool stages.
* 2008 - Qualified.

European Nations Cup

Scotland joined the cup in 2003, as one of the three new nations to make the competition a six team tournament split into two groups. Their group consisted of Ireland, who beat them 24-22, and France who Scotland beat 8-6. However it was France that went through to the final, despite each team winning one match, because of their better points difference. In 2004 they contested the cup again, being put into a group with Ireland and Wales. Scotland beat Wales in the first match, but once again lost to Ireland, suffering their heaviest ever defeat. For the third and last time Scotland played in the 2005 competition and were again placed with Celtic rivals Wales and Ireland. This time they lost both of their games to finish bottom of the group. The European Nations Cup has not been placed since 2005.

Clash Of The Nations

As France proved that they were no longer strong enough for England, losing 73-6 in Gateshead, the European Nations Cup once again was brought to an end. [ [ Hall Of Fame - 1996] Retrieved on 27 August 2008.] Instead France, Ireland and Scotland competed in a new tournament which would make November 1998 a month of international rugby league, as Great Britain and New Zealand would be playing Test matches. [ [ SportingLife - Facts About GB v NZ] Retrieved on 27 August 2008.] [ [ Hall Of Fame - New Zealand 1998] Retrieved on 27 August 2008.] However to avoid rugby union internationals the Rugby Football League organised the matches at night, which meant that the matches themselves received poor media coverage, especially in Scotland and Ireland, and small crowds, again particularly in Scotland and Ireland. France won the only tournament, it being axed after just one year, Scotland finished last losing against both teams.

Triangular Challenge

With the Clash Of The Nations matches not doing well off the pitch, the RFL organised a new round-robin tournament featuring Scotland, Ireland and Wales. The three international matches coincided with Great Britain test matches in Australia, which meant that Wales and Ireland suffered heavy withdrawals and Scotland lost Dale Laughton. Matches were played on Friday nights and competed against rugby union and football domestic seasons that were in full-swing. The tournament produced record low attendance figures in the three nations histories and so the competition was quickly axed.


Rugby League World Cup

European Nations Cup

cotland A

The Scotland A national rugby league team is made up of amateur players, who either play in the Rugby League Conference or university leagues. The Scotland team is usually made up of some players who play in the Scottish division of the RLC, but also of players who play in the English or Welsh divisions [ [ Scotland RL - Strongest Ever Scottish A Pack Set To Face France] Retrieved on 14 July 2008.] [ [ Scotland RL - Wales Versus Scotland At Cardiff] Retrieved on 14 July 2008.] [ [ Scotland RL - Squad For England] Retrieved on 14 July 2008.] . Napier University has also played a huge part in the team, with many Napier students having played in the side over the years [Code 13 - Napier University Knights, Issue 3, April 2008, Page 23. Retrieved on 27 August 2008.] . The team regularly compete against England, Wales and Ireland, playing them annually in the Home Nations Championship. Since the creation of this tournament, in 2002, Scotland have never won the league although have finished second on two occasions in 2004 and 2005 [ [ Scotland RL - Scotland Finish Second After Irish Romp] Retrieved on 14 July 2008.] . Recently the Scotland team have toured Holland, Italy and Serbia, helping expand rugby league in those country by playing domestic and national sides [ [ Scotland RL - Do You Want To Play For Scotland?] Retrieved on 14 July 2008.] . Angus McNab currently coaches the side, whilst Andrew Todd of Edinburgh Eagles is captain [ [ Scotland RL - Scotland Versus Wales In Glasgow] Retrieved on 14 July 2008.] .





ee also

* Rugby league in Scotland
* Sport in Scotland
* Rugby League World Cup
* Great Britain national rugby league team

External links

* [ RFL Scotland page]
* [ Scotland RL]
* [ Scotland Rugby League]
* [ 2008 Rugby League World Cup Site]

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