Konkel: 50 caps and counting
From winning tackles and scoring tries to putting out fires and saving lives, Scotland No 8 Jade Konkel ensures her jobs are always accomplished.
A vital member in the pack for Scotland, Jade Elizabeth Konkel also works with the London Fire Brigade Department, as she explained: ‘’I began my application for the London Fire Brigade exactly two years ago this month, just as Covid started, as you never know when your last game of rugby could be and I was not getting any younger, so I wanted to make sure I had a plan for myself.
‘’I have always wanted to be involved within a service, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for me. I already had a few friends in the London Fire Brigade and whenever they spoke about it I was forever intrigued.
‘’The team aspects and working environments between rugby and at the fire brigade is not particularly different, you’re never training or working alone and not every day is the same, so I think that’s why it works so well for me.’’
Konkel has already experienced a major win this year with Scotland Women, as they defeated Colombia in late February at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai in order to qualify for the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year.
‘’We had already done and been through so much to get to that final tournament, playing against Ireland back in September, which was a full on 80-minute action-packed game, so we then went into Colombia with a bit more freedom and fun it felt.
‘’To say we had done it just felt exhausting but in an unimageable way, it had been 12 years since Scotland Women made it into a Rugby World Cup, so if anything, it has still not sunk in that we’ve qualified.’’ Konkel added.
A lot can be admired about Scotland Women, from their hard work in training, to their passion and strength on the pitch - however, their team bond is a speciality that the squad reflect on day in and day out.
‘’Culture is massive if you’ve not got culture in a team you’re not going to win games. It is a hugely important thing to us, we’re always building friendships and that unit so when we are on the pitch we’re playing for each other too.’’ Konkel said.
From making her Scotland debut back in 2013, where Konkel came on as a replacement in the opening match against England, her involvement in the Scotland Women squad has developed and matured her performance in rugby massively over the years.
Jade said: ‘’The sport itself has grown and developed massively, from the resources and people, but for me, it has a hundred percent helped me mature not only as a player but in life and as a person.
‘’From my first cap, I didn’t really know the laws of rugby, all I knew was that you rucked, carried, tackled, and passed. Whereas now I can analysis the game when I play, and that is down to time growing and learning more about yourself on and off the field.
Nearly ten years on and Jade earned her landmark 50th cap against the same opposition as her first, facing England in the opening round in the 2022 TikTok Women’s Six Nations.
‘’I always remember sitting in school back at 15 and 16 years-old looking on the Scottish Rugby website at Scotland Women’s players and just thinking they were heroes, and now I’m here it’s just unbelievable.’’
From growing up surrounded by rugby, Konkel will be playing these upcoming Six Nations games with the aim to give younger girls, aspiring in rugby, that same ‘hero figure’ motive for them to look up to.