‘Mate against mate’ as Scots face stern test

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Scotland head coach Steve McCormack has likened his team’s encounter with England to Australia’s State of Origin, which pits “mate against mate”.

The opening match of Saturday’s Ladbrokes Four Nations double-header at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena will be the first at senior level between the two home nations.

The Scots, who qualified for their first assault on the Four Nations by winning the 2014 European Cup, were crushed 54-12 by Australia on their debut last Friday.

But McCormack admits his players are looking forward most to the contest with England, which pits a host of Super League and NRL players up against their club-mates.

“You want to play against Australia and New Zealand as well, but I think a Scotland-England game is mate against mate,” McCormack said. “A lot of these players play against each other every week.

“In any sport Scotland v England is massive, certainly for the Scots.”

Australia winger Josh Mansour, 26, has been ruled out for the rest of the Four Nations after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament following a training ground collision yesterday.