Sam Brooks sorry for drunken antics that led to Scotland World Cup axe
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 09/11/17 10:05pm
Sam Brooks has apologised for his "totally embarrassing" exclusion from Scotland's World Cup squad.
Brooks was one of the lesser-known names sent home - Danny Brough the most famous - after being too drunk to board a plane to Christchurch.
And, rather than preparing for a must-win clash with Samoa, he was on Thursday night starting pre-season training with club side Featherstone.
"I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to everyone involved with Scotland Rugby League, the players, the staff and the fans who travelled a long way to support us," he told Rovers' official website.
"My actions on Sunday were nothing short of unacceptable and, more importantly, totally embarrassing.
"I would also like to apologise to everyone involved with Featherstone Rovers, who I have been representing while away with the Scottish national side.
"Most importantly I would like to apologise to my family, who give me the right to represent Scotland in terms of eligibility.
"I am gutted to have embarrassed my family and friends by being forced to leave the tournament in such a disappointing manner.
"Going forward, I will be working as hard as possible - on and off the field - to redeem myself and put this behind me.
"I owe the Featherstone fans a great deal and will do everything I can to make people proud of me once again."
With Brooks and Johnny Walker back in England alongside captain Brough, coach Steve McCormack will trust St Helens prop Luke Douglas with the armband.
As vice-captain of the Bravehearts, the 31-year-old front-rower will step into the breach following the axing of Brough.
"Steve hasn't actually told me yet," said Douglas from the team's base in Cairns.
"He might be waiting for the jersey presentation or maybe he'll change his mind!"
Captaincy will be a new experience for Douglas, who made a record 215 consecutive NRL appearances for Cronulla and Gold Coast Titans from 2006-14, and he says he intends to let his actions on the field do most of the talking for him.
"I have been a senior player at the Sharks and the Titans and now at St Helens but I only captained the Sharks for one game, that's about it," he said.
Despite conceding 124 points in their opening Group B games against Tonga and New Zealand, Scotland can still go through to the quarter-finals - for the second consecutive World Cup - with a win over Samoa on Saturday.
The decision to send home Brough and front-row forwards Walker and Brooks as a disciplinary measure left McCormack with a depleted squad but Douglas says the dust has now settled and the focus is on pulling off a shock.
"There was a little bit of mayhem in the camp but it was a matter of getting the boys together and we had a really good day out as a team on Monday," Douglas said.
Douglas says morale in the Scotland camp has not been affected.
"We did a bit of fishing and snorkelling and that sort of thing, I think that boosted morale a fair bit. And we've had a pretty good week in training," he added.
"At the end of the day, we're a win away from the quarters and it's another chance to represent Scotland.
"There are a couple of guys who are possibly going to make their debuts for Scotland so it's exciting times."