No change for Spain showdown

Scotland Women Head Coach Shade Munro has named a settled squad to face Spain at Universitary Stadium, Madrid this Saturday (26 November, kick-off 1pm local time / 12 noon GMT). 

It is the second and final game to decide who will play in next year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup in Ireland.

With no changes to the starting XV or bench, Scotland will be looking to build on their positive performance at Scotstoun Stadium, where over 2,500 vocal fans turned out to support the home side.

Spain headed home with the advantage after winning the first leg 10-5, but Scotland are still in the hunt for a place at WRWC 2017. The winner will be determined by aggregate scores, which means Scotland need to defeat Spain by at least six points to win the qualifiers.

Last week’s try-scorer Deborah McCormack is back in the second-row with Emma Wassell lining up next to her. Both are set to earn their 18th international caps after making their debuts in the 2014 Women’s Six Nations opener against Ireland.

Openside flanker Louise McMillan retains her starting berth after the 19-year-old’s impressive debut alongside Hillhead Jordanhill clubmate Jemma Forsyth on the blindside. The experienced Karen Dunbar completes the back-row at number 8 following a strong outing last week.

Munro has retained an experienced front-row featuring hooker Lana Skeldon and props Heather Lockhart and Tracy Balmer – with a combined total of 136 caps between them.

Captain Lisa Martin returns to centre alongside Edinburgh University’s powerful outside centre Lisa Thomson.

Following her player of the match performance in her first Scotland Women start, Helen Nelson returns to stand-off with her Murrayfield Wanderers colleague Sarah Law at scrum-half.

Chloe Rollie is set to earn her 12th cap at full-back, with wingers Rhona Lloyd and Megan Gaffney looking to add pace to the outside channels.

Lichfield forwards Sarah Bonar and Rachel Malcolm are on the bench after making their Scotland Women debuts as replacements last week. Their clubmate Jenny Maxwell is on the bench for the backs with Murrayfield Wanderers wing Eilidh Sinclair.

Props Lindsey Smith and Katie Dougan are also among the replacements with Lyndsay O’Donnell, who did not come off the bench last week alongside the uncapped Lucy Park.

Head Coach, Shade Munro, said: “I was very proud of the team last week. From where Scotland Women have been to where they are now, it was a huge performance.

“There was great effort from our first caps. Louise McMillan was brilliant and Rachel Malcolm and Sarah Bonar made an impact when they came off the bench.

“We learned a lot from last week’s match and have been working on various areas since we came into camp at Oriam this week.

“Our lineout and set piece was pretty dominant but we do need to look at our width and organisation of our defence, and being more clinical in the attack zone.

“The positive is that we competed against a team ranked four places above us. The team wasn’t happy with losing but they were encouraged by their performance.

“The players are confident and upbeat – it’s only half-time in this tie. We still have something to play for when we go over there and we are certainly going to give it our best shot.”

 

 

Scotland Women team to play Spain Women at Universitary Stadium, Madrid

Saturday 26 November (kick-off 1pm local / 12 noon GMT)

 

15. Chloe Rollie* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 11 caps

 

14. Megan Gaffney (Edinburgh University) – 19 caps

13. Lisa Thomson* (Edinburgh University) – 6 caps

12. Lisa Martin* CAPTAIN (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 31 caps

11. Rhona Lloyd* (Edinburgh University) - 6 caps

 

10. Helen Nelson* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 3 caps

9. Sarah Law* (Murrayfield Wanderers/Edinburgh University) – 23 caps

 

1. Heather Lockhart (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 83 caps

2. Lana Skeldon (HillHead Jordanhill) - 16 caps

3. Tracy Balmer (Worcester) – 37 caps

4. Emma Wassell* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 17 caps

5. Deborah McCormack (Aylesford Bulls) – 17 caps

6. Jemma Forsyth (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 16 caps

7. Louise McMillan* (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 1 cap

8. Karen Dunbar* (RHC Cougars) – 15 caps

 

Replacements

 

16. Lucy Park* (Murrayfield Wanderers) - uncapped

17. Lindsey Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill) - 31 caps

18. Katie Dougan (Edinburgh University) - 3 caps

19. Sarah Bonar (Lichfield) - 1 cap

20. Rachel Malcolm (Lichfield) – 1 cap

21. Lyndsay O’Donnell (Worcester) – 10 caps

22. Jenny Maxwell (Lichfield) – 9 caps

23. Eilidh Sinclair* (Murrayfield Wanderers) – 12 caps

 

* BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 2 player 2016/17

Not available due to injury: Jade Konkel, Mhairi Grieve, Siobhan McMillan