11182017

Three players ‘too drunk to board plane’ thrown out of Scotland World Cup squad

Danny Brough

Danny Brough was Scotland’s key player in the run to the quarter-finals of the last World Cup

Captain Danny Brough is one of three players released from Scotland’s Rugby League World Cup squad after being deemed too drunk to board a flight.

Brough remained in Christchurch with Sam Brooks and Johnny Walker while the squad flew to Cairns for next week’s final group game with Samoa.

Scotland Rugby League chairman Keith Hogg said: “These players have not adhered to the standards of behaviour.

“They will leave early a tournament it is a privilege to be involved in.”

Huddersfield Giants half-back Brough and the two props – Featherstone Rovers’ Brooks and Darlington Point Roosters’ Walker – are believed to have continued drinking after the rest of the squad had finished and the airline refused to allow them to board the flight.

The Scotland management supported the airline’s decision and informed the English-born trio they would play no further part in the tournament.

Brough, 34, became Scotland’s most-capped player when he made his 24th appearance in their opening game of the tournament against Tonga.

Walker, 26, whose brother Adam also plays for Scotland, has made six international appearances while 24-year-old Brooks has three caps.

“We must respect the sport and everyone involved in it at all times,” added Hogg.

“We fully support the code of conduct that is in place for everyone who is involved in the 2017 World Cup.”

The Scots have lost both of their World Cup Group B matches – against Tonga and New Zealand – but could still progress with a win over Samoa because the top three teams go through.

Steve McCormack’s side enjoyed a successful 2013 World Cup, surpassing expectations to reach the last eight before losing to eventual finalists New Zealand at Headingley.

However, after the defeat by New Zealand, he said: “It was always a danger that, if we didn’t turn up and be at our best, something like that could happen.

“I’m really disappointed in that performance, although I thought New Zealand were really good. In the first half they had 21 or 22 offloads and they played a good brand of football.

“We had no ball and New Zealand were fresh and technically they were very good.

“I’ve said all along we’ve got a young squad and we’ll learn lessons from that.

“The key is to make sure we turn up with a better attitude against Samoa.”

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