Scotland Women head coach, Jamie Dempsey, today named the side that will take on Sweden Women at Meggetland on Saturday (kick-off 12noon, admission free) in preparation for the 2009 6 Nations. Royal High Corstorphine flanker, Lynne Reid, will make her first start as captain while international player of the year, Heather Lockhart, and the premier league top try and points scorer, Lucy Millard, will also start against the Scandinavians.
Scotland Women head coach, Jamie Dempsey, today named the side that will take on Sweden Women at Meggetland on Saturday (kick-off 12noon, admission free) in preparation for the 2009 6 Nations.
Royal High Corstorphine flanker, Lynne Reid, will make her first start as captain while international player of the year, Heather Lockhart, and the premier league top try and points scorer, Lucy Millard, will also start against the Scandinavians.
Murrayfield Wanderers and Royal High Corstorphine continue to provide the majority of the starting line-up with 10 of the 22 coming from the Edinburgh clubs while uncapped Joy Lyth and Natalya Marcholla from Lismore and Stirling County make the bench having proved themselves at recent Academy trials.
Ranked fifth in Europe, Scotland go into the match as favourites; however, despite winning 32-0 the last time the sides met in 2004, Dempsey was quick to dampen any expectation of a rout.
“That was a long time ago and both sides are now made up of entirely different players. We’ve watched footage of the Swedes and I’m expecting a much closer game this time round”, said Dempsey.
“Obviously the most important thing for us is to get the win. We’ve won our last two games against the Netherlands (26-0) and Spain (27-5) so we want to continue that run by focusing on how we perform and beating whoever is in front of us.
“We’ve shown in the past that our physicality is one of our strengths but it’s important that we play a more well-rounded game so we can develop the ability to tailor our performances depending on our opponents in order to exploit their weaknesses.”
Newly appointed captain, Lynne Reid, came off the bench when the sides met in 2004.
She said: “I’ve captained my club side and am the kind of captain who likes to lead by example but we have a core of experienced players in the squad that take a lot of responsibility on the pitch.
“Our last game was in May so we’re all raring to go but our training has been pitched at the right level and the right tempo to take us up to the game.
“I know a bit about the Swedish style of play from the FIRA match. They’re very athletic and have had good results against Wales and Italy but we’re a lot more physical and aggressive than the 2004 side and I think we have more depth, particularly in the backs.
“We’ve benefited hugely from the strength and conditioning support from Scottish Rugby and I think we’re in a stronger position going into the 6 Nations.”
Scotland Women begin their 6 Nations campaign against Wales on Sunday 8 February at Meggetland (kick-off 12noon).
Scotland Women (sponsor Martin Currie) team to face Sweden Women at Meggetland on 10 January (kick-off 12noon)
15 Lynsey Douglas (Richmond)
14 Cara D'Silva (Royal High Corstorphine)
13 Lucy Millard VICE CAPTAIN (Murrayfield Wanderers)
12 Suzi Newton (Team Northumbria)
11 Ronnie Fitzpatrick (Royal High Corstorphine)
10 Erin Kerr (Richmond)
9 Sarah Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers)
1 Heather Lockhart (Hillhead / Jordanhill)
2 Sarah-Lou Walker (Watsonians)
3 Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)
4 Louise Moffat (Kirkcaldy)
5 Lynsey Wheeler (Team Northumbria)
6 Lynne Reid CAPTAIN (Royal High Corstorphine)
7 Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
8 Keri Holdsworth (Watsonians)
16 Alison MacDonald (Royal High Corstorphine)
17 Ellen Beattie (Murrayfield Wanderers)
18 Joy Lyth (Lismore)
19 Natalya Marcholla (Stirling County)
20 Susie Brown (Hillhead / Jordanhill)
21 Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
22 Vik Blakebrough (Richmond)
Scotland Womenmatch schedule
Scotland v Sweden, Saturday 10 January, Meggetland, kick-off 12noon
6 Nations fixtures
Scotland v Wales, Sunday 8 February, Meggetland, kick-off 12noon
France v Scotland, Sun 15 Feb, Northern Paris Suburbs, kick-off tbc
Scotland v Italy, Saturday 28 February, Meggetland, kick-off 12noon
Scotland v Ireland, Friday 13 March, Meggetland, kick-off 7.30pm
England v Scotland, Saturday 21 March, Esher RFC SW London, 1.30pm