Australia v Scotland: Danny Brough set to follow wife with his own Everest to climb

Scotland's Danny Brough and Australia's Cameron Smith (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
Scotland's Danny Brough and Australia's Cameron Smith (Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)
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HIS wife has conquered a mission on the world’s biggest mountain and now Scotland captain Danny Brough hopes to do likewise to rugby league’s world champions.

The Huddersfield Giants stand-off leads the Bravehearts against Australia in tonight’s opening Ladbrokes Four Nations game at Hull KR.

Wife Jenna – whose father Ian Madley, coincidentally, played for the Robins for nine years – climbed to Mount Everest base camp last week to help raise £200,000 in memory of rugby league legend Steve Prescott.

She also became a world record holder last year when she played rugby near the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

“She got to the top on Sunday and they’re back home on Friday at half-six in the morning so she’ll be coming to the game,” said Brough.

“She was struggling at one point, throwing up and things like that, but has done really well and they’ve achieved what they set out to do – base camp – so I’m really proud of them.

“Now we face Australia and 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 compete 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 try and cause an upset along the way.”

No fourth-ranked side has even won a game in the competition and this is now the fifth year of its incarnation, illustrating just how dominant Australia, New Zealand and England have been. It is Scotland’s first venture into the Four Nations – France, Wales, Papua New Guinea and Samoa have each had a stab to no avail – but it is arguably their strongest squad yet and Brough feels they can break that duck.

“I’d like to think so,” said the player, who first represented Scotland in 2004.

“Nobody goes out to lose and you don’t think you will. We’re a group that is honest and pretty smart. I think if there is an opportunity to beat a team we’re the ones to try and do that.

“I still love playing for Scotland even more now seeing (North Queensland’s) Lachlan Coote coming over and Wigan’s Lewis Tierney.

“It shows people do care and want to play for Scotland.

“I like to see it grow. I’m proud of what the boys are doing.”

Meanwhile, the last time Brough played at Hull KR was just five weeks ago when his late drop-goal secured Huddersfield a win and Super League survival – condemning Rovers to the Million Pound Game.

He bravely turned up a week later, beer in hand, with Robins fan Jenna to see Hull KR ultimately lose to Salford Red Devils and suffer relegation.

“A repeat of that one-point win would be nice on Friday,” said the 33-year-old, who famously helped Hull FC win the 2005 Challenge Cup.

“It might be the first time KR fans are behind me! I’m looking forward to it; I like going to Hull. They’re passionate about rugby.”

Brough, of course, did briefly swap allegiances to England in 2012 when he played one game against the Exiles but Steve McNamara then bizarrely overlooked him that autumn and – the year he won Man of Steel – for his elite training squad the following June, too.

Dewsbury-born Brough reverted back to Scotland for the 2013 World Cup where he led them to a first-ever quarter final.

What if Wayne Bennett had taken over England a couple of years earlier?

“No, I’ve no regrets,” he said.

“That is what it is. I’m 33 now and still enjoy my rugby as much as I did back then.

“Time’s gone by; it could have been England, could have been Scotland but I’ve been (mainly) Scotland since 2004 and that’s something I’m really proud of.”