Scotland will collect their Rugby League European Championship trophy at a presentation at the sport's head offices later this week but their captain is almost certainly to miss the celebrations.

Having led his men to their first major tournament win Danny Brough returned to his day job yesterday, heading to an army boot camp as Huddersfield Giants launched pre-season training.

"We are trying to get as many of the team as possible to Leeds for the ceremony but it is a measure of the commitment the lads have shown that Danny probably won't be able to get there," said Gavin Willacy, Scotland Rugby League's spokesman.

"Danny had one week off at the end of Huddersfield's season before ­joining up with Scotland and he wasn't the only one who gave up his holidays. The other full-time players all returned to pre-season training today while the part-timers all had to take time off work or use their ­holidays to play."

All that for no more than expenses, but the big prize is their qualification for the 2016 Four Nations tournament which will pit them against Australia, England and New Zealand.

"Danny knew this was his last real chance of playing against Australia, which obviously contributed to his decision to play, but the level of commitment from our players was extraordinary," said Willacy.

"Other than Ian Henderson, who was involved in the Super League ­play-offs with the Catalan Dragons, every other player who was not injured or suspended made himself available, which demonstrates the strength of the camaraderie that has been generated within this group."

The reward of playing in that Four Nations tournament is not guaranteed for those who earned the right to play, though, because the task for Scotland's management team is to ensure that they can field a team strong enough to be competitive in two years' time.

That is likely to involve further recruitment, but the timeframe also allows for players to develop, and Willacy noted: "Of the squad that won the European Championship three of them, Louis Senter, Harvey Burnett and Corbyn Kilday, were playing their first games of open, senior rugby and Oscar Thomas and Sonny Esslemont, who were also making their first senior Scotland appearances, have only played around 10 games each at that level."

It is an extraordinary sequence of events that now leaves the volunteers who run Scotland Rugby League facing a huge logistical task to prepare for both the Four Nations challenge and that of the following year's World Cup.

The way in which their scratch team came together in a matter of days to earn a place in the World Cup quarter-finals could hardly have been more unexpected, as demonstrated by the fact that it coincided with the Rugby Football League following through on its decision to withdraw funding from Scotland, resulting in the loss of the country's only development officers.

That had catastrophic implications for the development of the 13-man code in Scotland and could have had a demoralising effect but, buoyed by that World Cup performance, officials have spent the last year regrouping. Now, as Keith Hogg, their chairman, explained yesterday, they have all the motivation they could want.

"I like to think that one of the consequences of this is that it will generate much greater interest," said Hogg. "Few of them may have been born here, but this is about being Scottish, it's the Scottish heritage, it's the pride of being involved in something their families are incredibly proud of. I, as an Englishman of origin, find that extremely powerful and it's something that I think Scotland has under-valued.

"Ahead of our meeting with Ireland one of our Aussies, who played for us at the World Cup last year but is currently injured, put on his full Scotland gear, including kilt, to send a message of support to the team. They are very proud to represent Scotland."

Hogg said he now has twin prior­ities in terms of building on what has been achieved. "First of all we can't lose sight of the fact that what we're here for is to build the sport in Scotland, bringing kids through the system, and this is a boost for our plans to do that," he said. "This is another significant step forward for the sport. There was an explosion of stuff on Twitter yesterday from people who didn't know what was happening at the World Cup last year.

"This is a very small sport in Scotland, but it is now a very successful one. I think this will bring more experienced volunteers to the sport."