Women head to Russia with Law

After convening as a Scottish Select at the recent Amsterdam 7s and Rugby Rocks London, Scotland Women 7s travel to Kazan, Russia this week to compete in the opening leg of this season’s Rugby Europe Women’s 7s Grand Prix.

Head coach Scott Forrest has selected a mix of experience and youth, including players from the women’s national squad alongside newcomers to this level of performance. The 12-woman squad also includes Scotland Women international Sarah Law who represented Great Britain in the World Student 7s last season in Brazil.

This will be the fourth season of participation for the squad, as they return to the top level of European competition, after success last June at the FIRA-AER (now Rugby Europe) tournament in Bergen. To remain at this level, the Scots must ensure a top-ten finish out of twelve competing teams.

Forrest said: "Our short-term aim must be to stay in the top division so we don't want to be one of the bottom two teams again.

“Looking at the competition in this Grand Prix division – England, Ireland and Holland are among a number of teams with full-time women's sevens programmes – this is a great opportunity and a challenge for all of us.”

Maintaining a good winning record in Amsterdam and London, Scottish Select beat teams from Brazil and France, and will be looking to build on these results in Russia at the weekend where they’re pooled with Russia, Portugal and Italy.

Forrest said: “The girls have performed well in our build-up to the competition. Players like Steph [Johnston] and Megan [Gaffney] have brought their experience to the selection while I’ve been delighted to see newcomers Caitlin Harvey and Fionidi Parker really step up to the challenge.

“It’s definitely the strongest squad we've had in four years of being together though I’ve no doubt this Series will provide the most challenging competition for us.

“With so many countries involved in Olympic qualification this season, the majority of the teams competing are full time and this will be a great opportunity for us to benchmark ourselves against the best in Europe.”

Following participation this weekend, the deciding leg will take place in Brive on 20 and 21 June.

Forrest said: "The next two weeks will definitely be the highest level of competition we have ever come up against during my time as coach and we're under no illusion that it will be a massive challenge for us to achieve a top-ten finish." 

Rugby Europe Grand Prix Leg 1 – Kazan

1      Jade Konkel                                 Hillhead Jordanhill
2      Karen Dunbar                               RHC Cougars
3      Eilidh Sinclair                               Murrayfield Wanderers
4      Lisa Ritchie                                   Carlisle
5      Megan Gaffney                             Hillhead Jordanhill
6      Lisa Martin                                    Murrayfield Wanderers
7      Sarah Dixon                                  Stirling County
8      Jenny Maxwell                              Leeds Met/Lichfield
9      Sarah Law                                    Murrayfield Wanderers
10    Steph Johnston                            Worcester
11    Fionidi Parker                               Northumbria University
12    Caitlin Harvey                               Caithness/RHC Cougars

Scotland Women 7s- Grand Prix events

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)