Scotland rugby league head coach Steve McCormack resigns

Steve McCormack has been in charge of Scotland’s rugby league team since 2004

Steve McCormack has resigned from his position as head coach of Scotland’s rugby league side.

McCormack, 44, leaves after 13 years in the role, having led the national side in three World Cups.

The Wigan assistant coach also guided the Scots to their maiden appearance in the Four Nations in 2016, securing a famous draw with New Zealand.

“It has been a massive privilege to coach the Scotland national team for so long,” McCormack said.

“To compete in three World Cups, many European Championships and a Four Nations competition is something that I am immensely proud of.

“What we have achieved over 14 international campaigns has been fantastic and there are so many highlights. I can pick from a World Cup quarter-final, a European Championship title, and a historic draw against New Zealand in the Four Nations.”

McCormack took over as Scotland head coach in 2004 and secured the first World Cup victory in the country’s history against Fiji in 2008.

McCormack led Scotland to a historic draw against New Zealand in the 2016 Four Nations

In the 2013 tournament the Scots made the quarter-finals for the first time, losing to eventual runners-up New Zealand.

Victory in the 2014 European Cup meant McCormack’s men qualified for the 2016 Four Nations alongside Australia, New Zealand and England. In their first appearance in the tournament the Scots secured the most famous result in their history, holding the Kiwis to an 18-18 draw in Workington.

“I would like to thank all the staff I have worked with and every player that has worn the Scotland jersey with pride,” McCormack continued.

“I have decided to stand down as head coach to enable a new coach to come in and build towards the next World Cup.

“I have enjoyed every minute of coaching on the international stage and look forward to future challenges. I am currently enjoying my role [as assistant coach] at Wigan Warriors and would also like to thank them for their support whilst I have been coaching Scotland.”

The 2017 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand proved to be a bitter disappointment for McCormack and his squad on and off the field.

Scotland were well beaten by New Zealand at the Rugby League World Cup

Heavy defeats by Tonga and New Zealand dented their hopes of qualification.

And, before the final, must-win pool match against Samoa, three Scotland players, including the captain Danny Brough, were sent home from the tournament after being deemed too drunk to board a flight.

The Scots performed admirably in adversity, but the 14-14 draw with the Samoans was not enough to progress to the knockout stage.

“Steve has been an outstanding servant of Scotland Rugby League and he leaves a tremendous legacy behind,” said Keith Hogg, chairman of Scotland Rugby League.

“He is held in very high regard by everyone involved in Scotland Rugby League. He is prepared to come and help anyone at any time and it is his support for all the elements of what we do in Scotland that many people will remember.”

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