Rachel Malcolm: Six Nations build-up
Scotland captain Rachel Malcolm gives us an insight into the preparations for the side in the run up to the opening Women's Six Nations match against Ireland this weekend.
It’s been a tough couple of months of training for the women’s squad. We have been in and out of camp since the start of January, with some extremely intense training. The girls have been putting in some hard work both on and off the pitch to help us get ready for this year's Women's Six Nations.
We have had a number of new faces into the squad in the last month, which has been a really good step for improving our depth.
Two weeks ago we had a trip to Almería in Spain, following a few hard days of training in Edinburgh. The team put in a fantastic performance against a full strength Spanish side, coming away 36-12 winners. We had a number of new caps including Leah Bartlett and Molly Wright, who both scored on their debuts, alongside Mairi Mcdonald and Alex Wallace.
This was a great example of our improving strength in depth and has set us up nicely for a tough championship. The new caps have all fitted in really well with the squad and I really feel that the squad is in a good place with one shared goal ahead of this busy year.
I was very lucky to be included in the 25 strong squad for this trip despite being unfit to play due to recovering from hand surgery. It was great to be back around the squad and being able to get back on the training pitch after a few months in a cast.
I ran water for the girls and it was great to be able to be out there with them and helping to keep them going even though I wasn't on the field with them. I was very proud of the performance they put in and it was great to see Helen Nelson leading her country for the first time for Scotland Women.
It was a pretty surreal day getting to attend the Six Nations launch in London last week. It was a full on day with media interviews, podcast chats and lots of photos!
It is amazing to see the amount of support for women’s rugby with both Goose and I having very few breaks as we were constantly being interviewed. It was super interesting to chat to all the other captains away from the pitch and to hear about the different preparations, before we meet in the tunnel on match day!
We have just been in camp in preparation for Ireland, with another few hard days of training and starting to refine the detail of the last few months. Ireland are always a physical side, and it is always a close fought contest.
The squad are chomping at the bit to get going for what will hopefully be an exciting championship!
If you are travelling to Ireland to watch the Men's Ireland v Scotland match, stay for the Women's match on Sunday at 1pm at Donnybrook.