Scotland International - An introduction
Scotland's International rugby league side are currently (Dec 2001) 7th in the world rankings. This is a four place improvement on 2000. In reaching this status, Scotland's strong performance against France in July 2001 cannot be forgotten. With players pulling out left, right and centre, it required a lot of skill to defeat what was close to a full strength French squad.
Scotland played in their first World Cup in 2000 and gained much respect although didnt get any further than the Pool stages. Narrow defeats and late call offs were major contributory factors but the Scotland team bounced back in style with the aforementioned French victory.
Scotland played in the 1995 Emerging Nations World Cup in which, captained by Alan Tait, they beat Russia 34-9 and the U.S.A. 38-16, before going down to eventual winners, the Cook Islands 21-10. They were given full international status in 1996, which meant they were allowed to select as many professionals as they wished using the grandparent ruling, and subsequently took part in two very closely contested European Nations’ tournaments with France and Ireland.
Scotland also entered the three nations tournament in 1998 and although they finished bottom of the triangular bout, they certainly showed character and didn't disgrace themselves against more experienced opposition.
The Scotland team played in their first World Cup Finals in 2000 and entered as joint hosts alongside England, Ireland, Wales and France. More news on this competition can be found elsewhere on the site. The 'grandparent ruling' was used to great effect by the Scottish management and the Scottish Squad was as follows:
Squad: Danny Arnold, Dale Laughton, Danny Russell (Huddersfield), Geoff Bell, Andrew Purcell, Darren Shaw, Adrian Vowles (Castleford), Scott Cram (London Broncos), Matt Crowther (Huddersfield-Sheffield Giants), Matt Daylight, Richard Fletcher, Richard Horne, David Maiden (Hull), Nathan Graham (Dewsbury), Daniel Heckenberg, Scott Logan (Sydney Roosters), Graham Mackay (Leeds), Wayne McDonald (St Helens), Lee Penny (Warrington), Scott Rhodes (Leeds), Michael Wainwright (Salford), Lee Gilmour (Wigan), Michael Rhodes (Featherstone Rovers), Andy Craig (Swinton Lions).