[Photo: the extended 2014/15 squad]
Scotland Women 7s embarked on their first season of competition from May to July 2012 following open trials.
After competing in the Amsterdam 7s and Rugby Rocks London in May, the squad then took part in the FIRA-AER Divisional qualifier in Ghent, coming second out of 12 teams and thus qualifying not only for that season's FIRA-AER Grand Prix Series but also for the chance to take part in the Women's Rugby World Cup 7s qualifier in Moscow in June/July 2012. Although just edged out of a place, the squad posted good results and, in Sarah Dixon, had the tournament's third top try scorer.
Coached then by former Scotland 7s captain, Scott Forrest, assisted by Chris Reid, the squad came together in mid-May 2013 for their second, short season. Two training weekends led to selection for the two FIRA-AER Grand Prix tournaments in Brive (1/2 June) and Marbella (15/16 June).
Scotland had to finish in the top ten out of 12 competing nations (Ukraine, Italy, Ireland, France, Spain, England, Russia, Netherlands, Portugal, Germany and Wales) in order to retain their Grand Prix status for 2014 with their finishing place providing their ranking. A twelfth place finish after Marbella meant that Scotland moved to the next level of competition, the A division, along with Germany in the B division.
After three training and selection weekends in May 2014, a squad playing as Scotland Select won the Plate in their warm-up tournament, Rugby Rocks, in London on 31 May. A final squad competed in Bergen (7/8 June) in the FIRA-AER Division A Women's European Championships. Scotland were pooled with Moldova, Croatia and Finland in one of three groups and had to finish the tournament in first or second place to return to the Grand Prix division. They achieved this by beating Finland (36-0), Croatia (36-0) and Moldova (36-0); then Finland (quarter final) (20-10) and Romania (semi final) (14-7). A Cup final with Ukraine followed and though defeated, 17-5, they had done enought to gain promotion to the 2015 Grand Prix Series.
An extended training squad of 20 players, again coached by Forrest, came together in October 2014 for an initial one-day camp. Weekly skills sessions and a training day in November lead to a further training camp in December, in preparation for the 2015 Grand Prix tournaments in Kazan, Russia and Brive, France in June 2015. In the opening event, Scotland won three out of their five matches - including a first win over Ukraine - to lift the Bowl, however just missed out on the opportunity to remain in the upper level of competition.
In 2016 the squad, with Graham Shiel as head coach and Elaine Vassie as assistant coach, will compete in two tournaments in the Rugby Europe Women's 7s trophy series, in the Czech Republic and Hungary. The initial extended squad for the first camp (30 April) is below:
Forwards: Jade Konkel (Hillhead Jordanhill)*, Kirsty McConnell (Hillhead Jordanhill), Deborah McCormack (Richmond), Louise McMillan* (Hillhead Jordanhill), Lucy Park* (Murrayfield Wanderers), Charlotte Runcie (Watsonians).
Backs: Claire Bain (RHC Cougars), Nikki Callan, Laura Dowsett (Saracens), Abigail Evans, (Hillhead Jordanhill), Megan Gaffney (Hillhead Jordanhill), Mhairi Grieve* (RHC Cougars/ University of Edinburgh), Lauren Harris (Melrose), Caitlin Harvey (Caithness)*, Lisa Martin* (Murrayfield Wanderers), Jennifer Maxwell (Leeds Beckett University / Lichfield), Helen Nelson (Murrayfield Wanderers / University of Edinburgh), Eilidh Sinclair* (Murrayfield Wanderers), Rachel Shankland (Stirling County), Lisa Thomson* (Melrose / Edinburgh University).
* BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 2 players 2015 / 16