Terry Matterson was once selected to play for Scotland, but he will be doing his best to knock them out of the World Cup on Thursday night.
The former Castleford coach is in charge of the USA Tomahawks who have already qualified for the quarter-finals after winning both their group matches so far.
Their prize is a last-eight clash with tournament favourites Australia in Wrexham on November 16, but Matterson’s more immediate concern is their final group C fixture with Steve McCormack’s Scotland at Salford.
The Bravehearts, who have lived up their nickname by beating Tonga and holding Italy to a draw so far, need a win at the AJ Bell Stadium to keep alive their hopes of a quarter-final against holders New Zealand.
Matterson insists there will be no room for sentiment, despite having a soft spot for Scotland.
“I got picked to play for Scotland in 1998 when I was with London Broncos,” said the North Queensland assistant coach as he wrapped up the Tomahawks’ training session at Salford on Wednesday.
“But I tore my calf the weekend before. I was gutted. I actually went up there with (manager) George Fairbairn and spent a night in camp and then I left.
“My grandfather fought in the war for Scotland. That’s the reason I got a work visa, through my ancestry heritage.”
The pressure is off the Tomahawks after Cook Islands’ 22-16 defeat by Tonga on Tuesday night ensured they will top the group, but Matterson insists it will not change the mindset of his players.
“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.”