Landmark cap for Lana

Landmark cap for Lana

​Eight years after winning a first international cap, Lana Skeldon reaches her 40th on Saturday against France. The former Hawick High School pupil has come a long way since beginning her rugby journey, both personally and professionally.

Eight years after winning a first international cap, Lana Skeldon reaches her 40th on Saturday against France. The former Hawick High School pupil has come a long way since beginning her rugby journey, both personally and professionally.

“I had just finished school when I first got my cap,” she said. “I had no real direction in life and couldn’t really figure out what I wanted to do.

“I knew University wasn’t something I wanted to do straight out of school; all I wanted to do was play rugby! That wasn’t an option back then, so I went from my coaching Modern Apprentice with Scottish Rugby to a support worker and finally ended up in the factory. I enjoyed it as it allowed me to train and work to get money!

“However, now I am very fortunate to be a contracted player. It’s like I am living my childhood dream. It makes recovery and training so much better and I have learnt a lot about myself over the last 24 months.

​“I feel like it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I am taking it with both hands and really enjoying it - I don’t think I have ever been this happy before as I am now.” Lana Skeldon

Skeldon has signed for Tyrrells Premier 15s side DMP Sharks, although she is acutely aware of how much the women’s game has come on in Scotland, adding: “There is a lot more support within the women’s game now compared to when I got my first cap. For example, we have a front of shirt sponsor (SP Energy networks) and BBC Alba showing all our games is fantastic because it gives our supporters who can’t always travel that opportunity to access our games easier.

“In terms of the squad, I feel like the players are a lot more unified than when I first started out. We are all in it together and I think that is something that has really changed a lot over the last 10 years, we all have each other’s backs."

Skeldon (far left) celebrating at the full-time whistle in Ireland in 2018. 

For Skeldon, she has lots of positive memories in rugby. Her favourite was not her first cap but another special moment for Scotland Women.

She said: “Most people would say that it was their first cap, mine was special but I think that first win away from home in Ireland in 2018 on my 25th cap was something I will never forget.

“It was a very close game but the feeling after that final whistle was something I will never forget. I was surrounded by some of my best friends and doing the thing I love most and winning! Couldn’t get much better!

“Winning at home was also very special but the ability to win away, and against Ireland was just something that I will hold in the memory box for a long time!

“I’m just so grateful for all the amazing opportunities I’ve had in rugby so far. Getting to go all over the world and be involved in all the different teams whilst making so many friends that I hold very close to my heart is something I will be forever grateful to rugby for.

“I didn’t fit in that well at school because I was so different from all the other girls but when I came to rugby it felt like home."

Celebrate International Women’s Day this weekend by supporting Women’s Rugby! We’re encouraging fans to head along or watch women in action, as Scotland Women compete in the Women’s Six Nations against France and club fixtures are played across the country. View upcoming fixtures online.

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