Scottish Select compete in Amsterdam event

As a build-up to their two Rugby Europe Grand Prix tournaments, players from Scotland Women 7s competed as a Scottish Select team in last weekend's Amsterdam 7s.

The event, which annually draws teams from across the globe, saw participation from a number of the national women's 7s teams competing under various guises.

The Scottish players took on teams Helvetian Hawkbit (Switzerland) (40-0), Lorraine (France) (48-0) and Wooden Spoon Marauders (England) (17-17) on day one (23 May) then Amazonas (Brazil) (10-7), Ireland (0-38) and Switzerland (10-5) emerging with just one defeat to the Ireland national women’s side.

Participation in this event is followed by the women competing in London Rocks tnext weekend, in advance of the Grand Prix tournaments in June.

Head coach Scott Forrest, who has led Scotland Women 7s since its inception in 2012, said at last weekend's training camp: "We'll probably see the biggest improvements in the players between this tournament and next weekend's in London. You can build on a lot more, get into more depth, the players' knowledge and understanding ramps up pretty quickly in these competitive atmospheres.

"Amsterdam will be a high standard – Ireland, Wales, Germany are all going and they'll be in the Grand Prix Series. Plus a lot of teams Scotland Women 7s played last season – Finland, Norway, the Czech Republic – are all sending teams and France, Holland and Canada all have their development teams going. It'll be a great opportunity to benchmark ourselves.”

There have been a number of changes to the Scotland Women 7s squad since last season – Rose Anderson has moved to coach basketball in the USA and Annabel Sergeant has moved to New Zealand with work – and players including Laura Steven and Ruth Slaven have had long term injuries.

All were key players in last year's short programme where Scotland Women 7s won promotion back into the top tier, however Forrest is pleased with the players who have stepped up to the mark this year.

He said: "I'd say the depth of the squad – if not the experience – is the best it's been and we still have the core group of Megan Gaffney, Sarah Law, Steph Johnston, Sarah Dixon and Lisa Martin.

"Then we have some young players coming through, such as Mhairi Grieve, and some new girls with promising pace, including Fionidi Parker from Northumbria University.”

The women have a rest weekend after the London tournament then come together as Scotland Women 7s and head to Kazan in Russia then Brive in France for the two Rugby Europe Grand Prix events next month.

Forrest added: "We said at the outset that our programme was about these two Grand Prix tournaments and to aim to stay in the upper tier of European competition.

"It's a big ask, with Olympic qualification involved for so many countries this season which means the majority of teams have been full time. However that's a good challenge for the women, they're going in to play with professional players and they can only benefit from the experience.”

 

Scottish Select team at Amsterdam 7s

Megan Gaffney Hillhead Jordanhill

Lindsay Wheeler Saracens

Karen Dunbar RHC Cougars

Debs McCormack Richmond

Jade Konkel   Hillhead Jordanhill

Mhairi Grieve RHC Cougars

Jenny Maxwell  Leeds Met/ Lichfield

Sarah Law  Murrayfield Wanderers

Steph Johnston Worcester

Eilidh Sinclair Murrayfield Wanderers

Fionidi Parker  Northumbria University

Sarah Dixon  Stirling County

 

Scotland Women 7s

Amsterdam 7s (Scottish Select) 23-24 May, National Rugby Centre, Amsterdam

London Rocks (Scottish Select) 30 May, Richmond Athletic Ground

Rugby Europe Women's 7s Grand Prix Series 1, 13-14 June, Kazan (Russia)

Rugby Europe Women's 7s Grand Prix Series 2, 20-21 June, Brive (France)