Commando Spirit

As Scotland take to the field this evening in Cumbernauld, against England, in this season’s Six Nations’ opener (k/o 6pm Broadwood Stadium), a number of leaders in the team will be drawing on their recent Commando experience.

Forwards Lindsay Smith, Lana Skeldon, Jade Konkel and Karen Dunbar alongside backs Sarah Law and Lisa Martin didn’t have to don cammo gear and crawl through the undergrowth of Edinburgh’s environs, however, as they expanded their knowledge in the more comfortable setting of a room at BT Murrayfield.

Team captain Martin explained: “We had a great opportunity to meet and talk with Sally-Anne Hunter and JJ Chalmers from Commando Spirit.”

The organisation, Commando Spirit, is all about giving participants once-in-a-lifetime experiences to test their mettle and giving them a taste of what it means to be a Royal Marines Commando whilst raising serious funds for Royal Marines and their families in need.

Its founder, Sally-Anne Hunter, also has her own links to Scottish rugby as son, Callum Hunter-Hill, was a recipient of last year’s Macphail Scholarship and is on the bench for tonight’s Scotland under-20 game against England that follow’s the women’s match.

Martin said: “It was very humbling to listen to some of the experiences and challenges they [JJ and Sally-Anne] have both overcome and the Commando Values, Spirit and Ethos that helped them do so.

“It was the Spirit, Values and Ethos that strongly resonated with the girls and we were able to see some comparison and crossovers in terms of situations both on and off the pitch where these could be put to use.

“We all definitely learned a lot in terms of our own leadership styles and how these can be best used in situations we’ll often find ourselves in, there were some great phrases that I’m sure we’ll be leading by too.”

Martin will lead the team for the first time, against England, fulfilling a dream she’s nurtured since childhood.

She said: “It’ll definitely rate as one of the more memorable walks home from work when Shade [Munro, head coach] phoned saying he was looking at me to captain Scotland for the 2016 Six Nations campaign.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be able to captain my country and to now be given the honour is amazing, I’m still pinching myself if I’m honest.

“I’m truly humbled that the coaching staff have given me such an opportunity, to be able to take the jersey on to new heights and successes this year.

“There are many leaders within this squad, it’s a special place to be just now, and I’m more than sure that each player will back me up on the pitch just as much as I’ll back them too.”

Scotland Women v England Women

Scotland Women and Scotland Under-20 combine their matches into double-headers against England and France. Tickets are £10 (adult entry to both matches) with seniors, under-18s and Scotland Season Pass holders free. Tickets are available to buy now.

For those unable to make the match, Scottish Rugby will be live streaming the game