Scotland Women aim to reign in Spain at World Cup qualifier

The Scotland Women squad travel to Spain today aiming to secure qualification for the 2014 Women's Rugby World Cup in France.

Melrose centre Gillian Inglis and Murrayfield Wanderers stand-off Lisa Martin return to the squad after long-term injury while there's a first call-up for Hillhead Jordanhill second row Samantha Beal.

The FIRA-AER qualifier, which takes place from 20-27 April in Madrid, gives Scotland a second chance to stake their place in next year's tournament after missing out on qualification during this year's RBS 6 Nations, where the two available places went to Ireland and Wales, England and France already having qualified.

Six teams take part in the Madrid qualifier from which two will proceed to the World Cup. Scotland are drawn in Pool B, alongside Samoa and Spain, and will play teams in the opposing Pool A, namely the Netherlands, Sweden and Italy.

Head coach Karen Findlay said: "We've selected as strong a squad as we can. It's exciting to have some new faces return who, through injury, were out during the 6 Nations. They've come good at the right time and that adds depth to the backline choices.

"All involved realise the implications of the three matches that lie ahead, are very much focussed on doing all we can to secure World Cup qualification and we hope everyone gets behind the squad."

Scotland's first game is against the Netherlands on Saturday 20 April, kicking off at 3.30pm (local, 2.30pm BST); the second match is on Tuesday 23 April, against Italy (kick-off 1.30pm local, 12.30pm BST); and in the final game Scotland meet Sweden on Saturday 27 April (kick-off 1.30pm local, 12.30pm BST). All fixtures take place at the Central University Stadium, Madrid.

Scotland Women squad for FIRA-AER Women's Rugby World Cup qualifier, 20-27 April, Madrid

Forwards
Tracy Balmer (Worcester)

Samantha Beal (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Susie Brown (Richmond)

Beth Dickens (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Tess Forsberg (Richmond)

Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Suzanne McKerlie-Hex (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Nikki McLeod (Morgan)

Bridget Millar-Mills (Worcester)

Becca Parker (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Sarah Quick (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Kelly Shields (Murrayfield Wanderers)

Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Lindsay Wheeler (Richmond)

Backs
Louise Dalgliesh (RHC Cougars)
Sarah Dixon (RHC Cougars)

Megan Gaffney (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Katy Green (Darlington Mowden Park)
Tanya Griffith (RHC Cougars)
Gillian Inglis (Melrose)

Sarah Law (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lisa Martin (Murrayfield Wanderers)
Lyndsay O'Donnell (Worcester)
Annabel Sergeant (Richmond)

Laura Steven (Murrayfield Wanderers)

WRWC 2014 qualification
Twelve teams will take part in Women's Rugby World Cup 2014. There are six automatic qualifiers: reigning world champions New Zealand, 2010 runners up England, 2010 bronze medallists Australia, 2014 hosts France plus USA and Canada by virtue of their top six placing at WRWC 2010.

Ireland and Wales, as the two highest placed teams on aggregate from the 2012 and 2013 6 Nations (outside of automatic qualifiers England and France), have also secured their places. Two teams will qualify from the Madrid tournament with the two remaining sides coming from yet to be determined Africa and Asia qualifiers.