"Are" is used in the UK when you are referring to a team - "is" would be used if you were referring to the country - Scotland is good at rugby = Scotland as a whole is good at rugby; Scotland are good at rugby = the Scottish national team is good at rugby. I think usage might be different in the US
I'd go further than that and say that are is used for other collective nouns in the UK as well. I'd say my daughter's school are going on a field trip today - school here is used as a collective for the students, therefore implies plural. If you said to me my daughter's school is going on a field trip today, I'd say you were referring to the actual school building, not the students.