McCormack to lead Scots into World Cup combat

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The Independent Online

Steve McCormack and Danny Brough will lead Scotland into the World Cup in Australia this autumn. McCormack, the Widnes coach, has been reappointed after guiding the Scots to qualification by beating Wales in November. "Leading the team out in the World Cup will be one of my proudest moments," he said.

Scotland will be the outsiders in a group that also contains France and Fiji. "We will be underdogs, but Steve will get the lads fired up," said the Scotland Rugby League chairman, David McNeill. "He has a proud record of success at club level and did a tremendous job in gaining qualification for the tournament."

Brough, the Wakefield scrum-half, will captain the side. His team-mate, Tevita Leo-Latu, has been suspended for three games for a reckless high tackle that saw him sent off at Hull.

Wigan will be without their Great Britain second-rower Gareth Hock for two months as he has a broken thumb. Harlequins have lost their Australian prop Daniel Heckenberg for six weeks after he dislocated a shoulder in training.

Bradford have recalled Craig Kopczak from loan at Halifax for tomorrow's game at Leeds because of their injury list, which now includes Paul Sykes and Tame Tupou. Michael Platt has failed a fitness test on his hamstring, while Leeds will be without Ryan Bailey with a groin strain. Danny Allan, an 18-year-old back-rower, is in line to become the latest of Leeds youngsters to make his debut.

Salford have decided against giving Robbie Paul his debut in the opening National League game of the season against Leigh tomorrow. Paul had neck surgery during the close season.

The postponed Northern Rail Cup group game between Celtic Crusaders and Doncaster is not to be restaged. Both clubs have already qualified for the knockout stages.