Forrest keeps faith with Bowl winners

Following Sunday's Bowl win in Kazan, Russia, Scotland Women 7s travel to Brive, France this week to compete in the second and deciding leg of this season's Rugby Europe Women's 7s Grand Prix.

Starting the two-tournament Series as 12th seeds, the Scots rose to ninth place in the rankings last weekend after winning three out of five of their matches and securing the Bowl.

Head coach Scott Forrest has kept faith with all 12 of last week's squad selection for this weekend's tournament as they look to finish in the top ten out of twelve to stay in the upper level of European competition.

Captain Steph Johnston, who scored the sudden-death extra-time try against Portugal to secure the Bowl, lines up alongside experienced wingers Megan Gaffney and Sarah Dixon - who each scored a brace - and scrum-half Sarah Law who added five conversions to the weekend tally.
Meanwhile newcomers to the squad - Caithness' Caitlin Harvey and Fionidi Parker from Northumbria University - rejoin Scotland Women back rows Jade Konkel and Karen Dunbar, who both impressed at the breakdown, try scorers Jenny Maxwell and Eilidh Sinclair, plus stand-offs Lisa Martin and Lisa Ritchie.

Forrest said:
"I think it's important that these players have the chance to back up the result from Kazan and it's good that we've been in a position to be able to select the same line-up.

"Finishing ninth on Sunday was massive for us as we went into the third 'pot', rather than the bottom level, when the pools were decided for this coming weekend.”

The Scots have been grouped with last weekend's semi finalists England, Plate winners Ireland and Germany.

Forrest said: "It's going to be a challenge. Ireland are still pushing to get into the Olympic repechage, England are looking for as high a finish as they can and Germany are very physical and direct, with tremendous pace out wide.
"We're expecting a very tough weekend.”

While England have qualified as Great Britain for the 2016 Olympics, via the World Rugby Women's Sevens World Series, the door is still open for players from the home nations to stake their claim in the squad this weekend.

Forrest said: "I've no doubt that, in the back of a few of our players' minds, will be the potential for Olympic qualification but our aim is, as a squad, to ensure we finish above Ukraine and Germany this weekend.”

This is the fourth season of participation for the squad, as they return to the top level of European competition, after promotion 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.

Rugby Europe Grand Prix Leg 2 – Brive, France
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
Rugby Europe Women's 7s Grand Prix Series 1, 13-14 June, Kazan (Russia) - results
Pool A: Russia 37-0 Scotland; Portugal 12-14 Scotland; Italy 17-7 Scotland
Bowl Semi-final: Scotland 26-7 Ukraine
Bowl Final: Scotland 22-17 Portugal
Read about last weekend's opening leg here

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