Steve McCormack, the Scotland head coach, has named seven uncapped players in his provisional 36-man squad for the World Cup.
The group includes Ryan Maneely, Kieran Moran, Davie Dixon, Brandan Wilkinson, Liam Faughlan, Lachlan Stein and Will Oakes. Veteran Danny Brough, Scotland’s joint-record appearance-maker with 23 caps, will captain them.
McCormack has kept twenty-two of the players that were in last year’s Four Nations Series, when the Scots became the first minnows to claim a point in the tournament following an 18 – 18 draw with New Zealand. Penrith hooker Peter Wallace and the Newcastle centre Joe Wardle will also be returning from injury.
In the 2013 World Cup Scotland reached the quarterfinals. They will be facing Tonga, New Zealand and Samoa at this year’s tournament. The tournament will be taking place in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea in October and November.
Speaking after the provisional squad was announced McCormack said, “I’ve said to the players: selection will be based on performances. It doesn’t matter whether you are in the NRL, Super League or bottom of the Championship. I know a lot about these players, know I can trust them and just hope they can perform over these next seven or eight weeks and get on that plane.”
He said that they have had their first team meeting and a fall-out programme has been put in place that the players will join as their club seasons end. However, they will first get a short break in order to rest before the World Cup.
McCormack added that a few more players may be added to the group as the tournament approaches and said other players may be able to force their way in.
The provisional squad in full is: Danny Addy, Euan Aitken, Ryan Brierley, Sam Brooks, Danny Brough, Brett Carter, Lewis Clarke, Lachlan Coote, Davie Dixon, Luke Douglas, Liam Faughlan, Dale Ferguson, Ben Hellewell, Liam Hood, Ben Kavanagh, Kane Linnett, Frankie Mariano, Joe McClean, Ryan Maneely, Kieran Moran, Will Oakes, Brett Phillips, Calum Phillips, Scott Plumridge, Sheldon Powe-Hobbs, Matthew Russell, David Scott, Lachlan Stein, Oscar Thomas, Lewis Tierney, Adam Walker, Alex Walker, Jonathan Walker, Peter Wallace, Joe Wardle, Brandan Wilkinson.