Rugby League World Cup preview: Scotland v USA
Last Updated: 08/11/13 1:08pm
Scotland can move a step closer to a mouth-watering clash against world Cup holders New Zealand in the quarter-finals if they beat USA on Thursday in Salford.
The Bravehearts are the only undefeated home nation after the first two rounds of group matches and they can take a step closer to a potential clash against the Kiwis if they end the Americans' remarkable run of success
A win at the AJ Bell Stadium would take the Scots two points clear at the top of Group C and leave them with an anxious wait until Sunday when Italy, who have a superior points difference, play Tonga.
Scotland head coach Steve McCormack is forced to make his first changes of the tournament after losing hooker Ian Henderson (knee) and centre Kane Linnett (rib) to injury in the 30-30 draw with Italy.
Andrew Henderson, who will win his 20th cap, is a straight swap for his brother while winger David Scott is the likely replacement for Linnett.
"Ian Henderson has had a great tournament for us and Kane Linnett has been a big strike player for us but it gives opportunities for some of the other players to come in," said McCormack.
With wins over Cook Islands and Wales, the USA are already guaranteed a place in the last eight and an unlikely meeting with Australia.
Terry Matterson's men will be playing their third game in nine days and, as in the build-up to last Sunday's clash with the Welsh, have had the benefit of only one training run.
Matterson is able to stick with the side that beat Wales 24-16 in Wrexham and insists they are not thinking about the quarter-final.
"Our focus is on the Scotland game, we're not getting ahead of ourselves," he said. "There is no talk about what's happening after that."
2013 Rugby League World Cup
This years' Rugby League World Cup has been hailed as the greatest of all time by the organisers. Australia claimed their 10th title by beating New Zealand in the final in front of a record attendance.
RFL chief executive Nigel Wood is confident the sport will capitalise on the success of hosting the World Cup.
We take a look back at the highs and occasional low from probably the best World Cup to date.
- Hetherington wants more cups
- Wallace commits to Scotland
- Widdop left gutted by defeat
- Tomkins devastated by defeat
- Burgess defends brother George
- Johnson expresses relief
- Kangaroos leap into final
- Sheens tribute to Civoniceva
- Australia v Fiji: Teams
- Burgess out to deny Williams
- Aussies wary of physical Fiji
- Foran highlights main threats
- Two video refs for World Cup
- Civoniceva gets Wembley buzz
- Fiji too strong for Samoa
- England disappoint McNamara
- England stroll into semis
- Sheens retains Slater hope
- Australia put USA to the sword
- Samoa v Fiji: Teams
- Williams injury played down
- Kiwis stroll into semis
- Sheens: Slater has learned
- Brough set for toughest test
- Scots ready for biggest task
- Kiwis wary of Henderson
- Farah dropped for US clash