Scottish Rugby celebrates International Women's Day

Rugby for women and girls is one of the fastest-growing team sports in the world and since the launch of Scottish Rugby’s #BeTheBestYou campaign in April 2017, clubs across Scotland have been welcoming new players along to train and play. 

To celebrate International Women’s Day (Thursday 8 March 2018) we’ve asked two women who’ve found success representing Scottish Rugby to share their sporting stories and their hopes for the future.

Chloe Rollie is currently training for this weekend’s game against Ireland game in the Women’s Six Nations. She will earn her 21st cap and the Scotland full-back says wearing the dark blue jersey means everything to her.

 It is what I have always wanted to do and still it feels like a dream,” she said. “I am proud to represent my country and to help the team progress in the sport.

Rollie plays for top French club Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois (LMRCV) when she’s not on Scotland duty and she says that sport has always been part of her life. 

“I grew up always playing rugby and football in the Borders alongside doing sprinting and motocross racing,” she said.

“I went to play football for Hearts but after a few seasons I realised I missed rugby too much so I returned to the sport.”

Rollie played for Melrose RFC for several years then went travelling to Australia, but when was selected to join a Scotland Women camp she got on a plane home.

She joined Murrayfield Wanderers then was included in the 2015 Six Nations squad. Since getting her first break Rollie has never looked back.

I think the best thing is that we are all one big family,” she said. “There is such a good vibe within the squad. We can have a laugh but we also know how to be professional and when is the right time to be serious.

“Everyone has everyone else’s back. You have a sense of belonging.”

On International Women’s Day, she feels that every year the participation and profile women in sport is growing.

“You hear a lot more about women taking part in different sports,” she said. “Right now I feel we are in a good place but there is always room for improvement.

 “I have huge hopes for the future. All of the right steps are being taken to support women in sport and that gives us a good platform to build on.”

Hollie Davidson became Scotland’s first contracted female rugby referee in June 2017 and last month she made her Women’s Six Nations debut, taking charge of of England v Italy in the opening round.

 “Sport has played a huge part in my life,” she said. “I played sport all the way through school then when I went to university I decided to concentrate on rugby.”

Davidson captained Edinburgh University’s women’s team for three years and went on to play for Murrayfield Wanderers as well as representing Scotland Women U20s. Having sustained injuries as a player, she made the decision to pursue a different avenue in rugby and took up refereeing.

She attended Scottish Rugby’s women-only refereeing course in October 2015 and later completed her Level 2 qualification before refereeing at Scottish tournaments and Rugby Europe competitions.

The 25-year-old made her international refereeing debut on the World Rugby HSBC Sevens circuit in early 2017 and her job has taken her around the globe. “The travelling is a big positive of refereeing,” she said. “Being on the HSBC World Sevens Series we get to travel to some incredible places. I’ve been able to see parts of the world I would never have dreamt of a year ago.” 

Davidson’s remit includes delivering referee courses and encouraging more women to start refereeing. She said: “The status of women in sport is definitely improving and is on the rise.

"There is more support available to women in the sporting environment whether they are athletes, coaches or match officials.

I hope the opportunities available to women in sport keep increasing and ceilings continue to be smashed.   

Find out more about Scottish Rugby’s #BeTheBestYou campaign and how to get involved in women and girls’ rugby at www.scottishrugby.org/bestyou