Huddersfield’s in-form duo Danny Brough and Joe Wardle have made themselves available for Scotland’s defence of the European Championship next month.
Brough led the Bravehearts to their first major trophy last autumn after going straight from the Super League play-offs into the internationals and has pledged to do the same this year, according to coach Steve McCormack.
Wardle, whose outstanding form has played a key role in the Giants’ push for a maiden Grand Final and made him a candidate for England selection, is also said to be “desperate” to play for Scotland again this year.
“We have managed to develop some real depth to our squad over the last four years with a lot of players getting capped, and the success of the team has meant there is serious competition for places now,” said McCormack, who for the first time since he took charge of the national team in 2004 is spoilt for choice.
“The most pleasing thing for me has been how our high-profile players have said they are desperate to play again this autumn, even though some of them haven’t had a full off-season for years.
“That shows the team spirit we’ve got going now. And when the young lads see the experienced star names turning up every year with that passion, it rubs off on them.”
McCormack can choose from almost 50 players who have been capped at full, ‘A’, student or Under-19s level and are playing in England’s three professional divisions or in Australia’s NRL.
Scotland, whose title triumph in 2014 earned them a place in the 2016 Four Nations Series alongside England, Australia and New Zealand, say they will not fly over NRL regulars Peter Wallace, Luke Douglas and Kane Linnett for the European Championship.
“All three of them are fully committed to Scotland but it doesn’t make economic or sporting sense to bring them over this time and again next year,” McCormack said.
“They need a good off-season and will hopefully be fit and raring to go next autumn in the Four Nations against the leading three nations.”
Scotland open their title defence against Wales in Wrexham on Friday, October 16.