Q&A with Chloe Rollie and Lisa Martin
Scotland Women are in Lille ahead of this Saturday’s round three Women’s Six Nations Test against France (23 February, kick-off 8.00pm GMT) – live on BBC ALBA.
Lille has become a home away from home for four of the Scotland Women players over the last couple of years. Jade Konkel madethe move out to France in 2016 followed shortly after by Chloe Rollie and Lisa Thomson. Thomson and Konkel returned to the UK in 2018 but Lisa Martin made the move out to Lille for the start of the 2018/2019 season.
We spoke to Chloe Rollie and Lisa Martin about their experiences in Lille and how they are feeling about pulling on the Scotland Shirt in a stadium that they know so well.
How are you enjoying the lifestyle and playing at Lille?
Chloe: I am really enjoying it. The lifestyle is very different compared to back home. It took a lot of getting used to but now I’ve been out here 18 months, I think I have the hang of it. The playing side of things was a big adjustment too, the game is faster and much more physical, your skills are being put under pressure constantly.
Lisa: It's a whole different lifestyle in France compared to Edinburgh, it's very relaxed in comparison. It's been great to have on field training three nights a week, alongside kicking skills sessions, to really drive skill development. Now I've pretty much grasped the on-pitch language it's a lot easier to articulate points and ideas and really try to develop the team and the way we look to play.
How is the move to Lille helping you develop both personally and on the pitch?
Chloe: I think it has helped me hugely to develop in a positive way. For example, I’m more confident on and off the pitch. I’m have the belief in myself to try something on the pitch and put myself under more pressure than before and then I’m confident to speak to new people. I think now I’m more of an individual too, maybe before in team and social events I’d just kind of hide behind others at the back but now I do things alone on the pitch and off the pitch. It’s allowed me to see a lot more things in a game perspective and a life perspective.
Lisa: With Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois going through a major rebuilding phase this season I've had to adapt and learn in my professional and personal life. Arriving and being one of the most experienced players and playing in a pivotal position has its challenges but ones I've learned from and helped me develop as a player and a person. Playing against world class opposition weekly in very physical and expansive matches has allowed me to expand my game knowledge and decision making, which I'm hoping to transfer across to the national squad.
How do you feel about the upcoming Six Nations match against France being held in Lille?
Chloe: I’m really excited for the upcoming match against France in Lille. I’m excited for my team mates to see the area and the excellent stadium and also it will feel like another home game to me which can have a benefit, hopefully I can transfer that on to the girls and make them feel more comfortable when the game comes around.
Lisa: I think it's a great thing to have the Scotland France match in Lille. It'll be very odd having an away game at 'home' and I'm sure that feeling will be echoed by Chloe, Lisa Thomson and Jade.
What sort of atmosphere can be expected on Saturday evening?
Chloe: It is going to be a fantastic atmosphere. At club games we get the brass band and the drums around so I think we should really embrace the atmosphere this weekend. We shouldn’t back down from it.
Lisa: The Stadium is home to a number of high-level teams in both football and rugby and I'm in no doubt they will put on a brilliant spectacle of hospitality. Anywhere you play in France there are vocal and partisan crowds and Lille will be no different, as Chloe say’s, the atmosphere is enhanced by the local brass band!