Three Borderers in starting XV for Scotland’s opening game of rugby’s 2021 Women’s Six Nations
All three Borderers named last week in the Scotland squad for rugby’s 2021 Women’s Six Nations are in the starting line-up for this weekend’s opening game against England.
Head coach Bryan Easson announced his starting XV today, April 1, for the Scots’ game against the English on Saturday, April 3, picked from a 31-strong squad, and it includes Chloe Rollie, Lana Skeldon and Lisa Thomson.
Jedburgh’s Rollie, 25, has been capped 37 times thus far and Hawick’s Thomson, 23, and Skeldon, 27, have turned out for the national side 32 and 40 times respectively, so the England game will take their combined tally of appearances past the 110 mark.
It takes place at Castle Park in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, and will kick off behind closed doors at 3pm. It’s being streamed live on the BBC iPlayer.
The back division is unchanged from Scotland’s last match, versus France in October, with Hannah Smith partnering Thomson in the centres, stand-off Helen Nelson and scrum-half Mairi McDonald returning and full-back Rollie lining up with wingers Rachel Shankland and Megan Gaffney in the back three.
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In the front row, hooker Skeldon will pack down alongside Leah Bartlett and Christine Belisle, and Emma Wassell will link up with Louise McMillan in the second row.Captain Rachel Malcolm joins Rachel McLachlan and Siobhan Cattigan in the back row to form the rest of the pack.
Evie Gallagher is set to make her international debut if called upon from the bench, and Liz Musgrove and Jenny Maxwell are also named among the replacements following their return from injury, as are Molly Wright, Panashe Muzambe, Lisa Cockburn, Jodie Rettie and Sarah Law.Easson said: “It’s been tough to select the team this week, which has been a real positive as it shows there is good strength in depth within this squad.
“The team that will take to the field on Saturday has an exciting blend of youth and experience.
“We have several players that have been involved in a number of Six Nations championships now, but we also have a lot of young and upcoming talent that are pushing for places in the team.
“As a management team, we are looking for the players to express themselves on both sides of the ball and also showcase the hard work that they have put in over this difficult period.
“The group have trained incredibly hard since August, so we’ve had a good amount of preparation ahead of the tournament, but we are now just ready and excited to get back on the pitch and play.”
Scotland will return to Scotstoun Stadium in Glasgow on Saturday, April 17, for their last pool A match against Italy at 5pm.