DEWSBURY PRODUCT Danny Brough says he has “no regrets” over committing himself to Scotland.
Brough will captain the Bravehearts when they open the Ladbrokes Four Nations tournament against world champions Australia at Hull KR tonight.
The 33-year-old made his debut for Scotland 12 years ago and is set to become their most-capped player during the competition.
Previous England coaches’ decision to overlook Brough –Super League’s Man of Steel in 2013 – was hugely controversial, but he insisted he has no hard feelings over the way his Test career has gone.
“It is what it is,” said the former Dewsbury Rams, Castleford Tigers and Wakefield Trinity half-back, who began playing at the Thornhill amateur club.
“I still enjoy my rugby. Time has gone by. It could have been England, could have been Scotland, but I’ve been Scotland since 2004 and that’s something I’m really proud of.”
Brough plans to play on during next year’s World Cup and said he is still enjoying being part of major tournaments.
“Even more so when you see likes of Lachlan Coote coming over and Lewis Tierney coming from Wigan,” he stated.
“It shows people do care about us and want to play for Scotland. I like to see it grow. I’m real proud of what the boys are doing; working hard and having a laugh on the pitch. It’s all about enjoyment and we’re doing that.”
Scotland are the Four Nations minnows, but Brough added: “It’s exciting times. I just hope we can stand up for 80 minutes and have a go at the big three teams.
“It’s a challenge for us to try and compete – we know that – and we’re under no illusions about how hard they’ll be. We’ve got to go out with a smile on our faces and ultimately we have to go out, enjoy it and try and cause an upset along the way.”
Brough said he “would like to think” Scotland can pull off a shock result at some stage in the competition.
“Nobody goes out to lose and you don’t think you will,” he said. “We’re a group that is honest and are pretty smart. I think if there is an opportunity to beat a team we’re the ones to try and do that.”
Scotland will have the crowd support tonight, which will be an unusual experience for Brough, who used to play for Hull FC.
He said: “It might be first time the Hull KR fans are behind me. It’s something I’m looking forward to; I like going to Hull as they’re very passionate about their rugby.
“Hopefully they’re on our side on Friday.”
Brough’s wife Jenna is a Rovers fan and will be at the game less than a week after trekking to Mount Everest’s base camp to raise money for the Steve Prescott Foundation.
Australia: Moylan, Mansour, O’Neill, Dugan, Ferguson, Maloney, Cronk, Woods, Smith, Klemmer, Thaiday, Frizell, Trbojevic. Subs Friends, Boyd, Merrin, Morgan.
Scotland: from Addy, Aitken, Brierley, Brooks, Brough, Coote, Douglas, Ferguson, Hellewell, Hood, Kavanagh, Linnett, Mariano, McConnachie, Phillips, Powe-Hobbs, Russell, Tierney, Walker.
Referee: Ben Thaler (England).
Kick-off: Tonight, 8pm.