Rugby World Cup Beckons For Scotland Women

A squad of 26 has been announced to participate in this year's Women's Rugby World Cup, to be held during August and September in Surrey.

The squad is a mix of experienced campaigners - including Scotland's most capped rugby player, Donna Kennedy (110 caps) - and relatively new faces.

Scotland head coach, Gary Parker, said: "There was a lot of debate and much time taken to make sure we got the squad right.

"One or two new players have earned selection, adding to the already intense competition for places. We were really keen for versatility behind the scrum - when you're limited to a small squad you're looking for those who can play two or three positions."

Following two Test matches against South Africa, earlier this month, and this season's Six Nations fixtures, Parker has been happy with progress and the increased strength in depth of the potential squad.

He said: "Katy Green, for example, played really well against South Africa. She's been training very hard and I'm full of admiration for her work ethic. And Suzi Newton is back after a long-term injury - she's a quality international player."

Scotland Women take on Ireland in a non-cap encounter on Sunday 18 July (at Lasswade, kick-off 1pm, entry free) as final preparation for the World Cup and pool encounters with France, Sweden and Canada.

Parker added: "It's going to be a huge ask against these teams, with France and Canada in the top six in the world.

"We may have beaten France earlier this year but that means nothing now. In my playing days, I was fortunate to be part of an under-19 side that beat France - three months later, we played them in the World Cup and lost 69-0. What happened in February doesn't mean a thing!"

Scotland Women Rugby World Cup squad

Alison Macdonald (RHC Cougars)
Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Celia Hawthorn (Edinburgh University)
Donna Kennedy (Worcester)
Erin Kerr (London Wasps)
Gillian McCord (RHC Cougars)
Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Katy Green (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Keri Holdsworth (Watsonians)
Lindsay Wheeler (Darlington Mowden Sharks)
Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)
Louise Moffat (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lucy Millard (Team Northumbria)
Lynne Reid (RHC Cougars)
Lynsey Douglas (London Wasps)
Nicola Halfpenny (Melrose)
Rosalind Murphy (Edinburgh University)
Ruth Slaven (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Sarah Gill (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Sarah-Louise Walker (Watsonians)
Stephanie Johnston (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Susannah Brown (Richmond)
Suzi Newton (Team Northumbria)
Tess Forsberg (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)
Veronica Fitzpatrick (RHC Cougars)

SCOTLAND WOMEN RUGBY WORLD CUP SCHEDULE

Pool C
France
Canada
Scotland
Sweden

Friday 20 August Canada v Scotland (kick-off: 12noon)
Tuesday 24 August France v Scotland (kick-off: 2pm)
Saturday 28 August Scotland v Sweden (kick-off: 12noon)

All Pool games will be played at Surrey Sports Park.