SCOTLAND'S wretched World Cup campaign threatens to descend into farce after captain Danny Brough, Sam Brooks and former Bulls and Cougars player Johnny Walker were sent home in disgrace for being too drunk to board a plane in the wake of a 74-6 defeat by New Zealand.

Scotland's record-breaking captain Danny Brough has almost certainly played his last match for his country.

The 34-year-old Huddersfield Giants stand-off, who has led the Bravehearts in three World Cups, Brooks and Walker were sent home from the tournament after being too drunk to board a plane from Christchurch to Brisbane.

Brough, Brooks, who plays for Featherstone Rovers and Walker, a former Castleford and Hull KR prop who now plays in Australia, were thought to have continued drinking well into the night following Scotland's 74-6 defeat in their second group game.

The airline refused to allow the players to board the flight - a decision that was supported by the Scotland management.

"We expect everyone involved in Scotland Rugby League to adhere to the highest standards of behaviour," chairman Keith Hogg said.

"We fully support the code of conduct that is in place for everyone who is involved in the 2017 World Cup.

"We all understand our responsibilities to the game and we must respect the sport and everyone who is involved in it at all times.

"Unfortunately, these three players have not adhered to those standards and those values and will be leaving early from a tournament that it is a privilege for us to be involved in."

The three players remained in Christchurch today as the rest of the squad departed for Cairns, where they will prepare for Saturday's must-win game against Samoa.

Coach Steve McCormack must find a new captain and quickly lift his side after they conceded 124 points in their two opening matches.

Brough, who was Super League's Man of Steel in 2013, became Scotland's most-capped player when he made his 24th appearance in their opening game of the tournament against Tonga.

Walker's older brother Adam is a Scotland regular but was withdrawn from the squad after testing positive for cocaine use in August while playing for Wakefield.

The episode has shades of the incident during Great Britain's Tri-Nations Series down under in 2006 when Sean Long went on a drunken binge on a flight from Wellington to Sydney and shortly afterwards left the tour early.

It is also the latest in a series of incidents that have marred the 2017 World Cup.

Italian team-mates James Tedesco and Shannon Wakeman were the subject of an investigation after fighting with each other following their team's opening defeat by Ireland in Cairns, and today it also emerged that France hooker Eloi Pelissier had been sent home after breaking a team curfew.

France had earlier left behind Hull utility player Hakim Miloudi as a disciplinary measure after playing in their pre-tournament friendly against Jamaica.

McCormack could not hide his disappointment, before the drama of Brough, Brooks and Walker, after his side were crushed by New Zealand.

The Bravehearts conceded 14 tries to the rampant Kiwis in Christchurch and have now leaked 124 points in their first two games.

The Scots, hammered 50-4 by Tonga in Cairns, trailed 28-0 at half-time and were 64-0 down when Bulls half-back Oscar Thomas scored their only try.

"It was a tough night," McCormack said. "It was always a danger that, if we didn't turn up and be at our best, something like that could happen.

"I'm really disappointed in that performance, although I thought New Zealand were really good. In the first half they had 21 or 22 offloads and they played a good brand of football.

"We had no ball and New Zealand were fresh and technically they were very good.

"I've said all along we've got a young squad and we'll learn lessons from that. The key is to make sure we turn up with a better attitude against Samoa."

McCormack singled out former Bulls centre Brandan Wilkinson, currently without a club, for praise after he made his Test debut in difficult circumstances.

"There are positives," he said. "I'd pick out Brandan Wilkinson, a lad who's never played Super League.

"He really showed up for a young player who was playing academy football 12 months ago.

"There were some others, too; Alex Walker at full-back never gave up."

The victory was sweet revenge for New Zealand after they were held by Scotland to an embarrassing 18-18 draw in their last meeting in Workington 12 months earlier.

Thomas prevented a whitewash with a nice sidestep that got him over for a try, which former Bull Danny Addy goaled.

The Bulls' Joe Keyes again missed out for Ireland, who went down 14-6 to Papua New Guinea at a sold-out National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.

Wales, meanwhile, who had former Bulls Elliot Kear, Craig Kopczak and Phil Joseph in their starting line-up, felt the full force of World Cup dark horses, Mick Potter-coached Fiji, in a 72-6 defeat in Townsville.

The Fijians easily beat their previous World Cup record victory, a 52-6 win over South Africa at Keighley in 1995.