Scotland prepare for Six Nations opener
Scotland Women travel to Ireland this weekend for their opening Women’s Six Nations match on Sunday 2 February (kick-off 1pm). The fixture will be a great opportunity for Philip Doyle’s side to contest the hosts in what is set to be a close fixture.
The match is available to watch on BBC ALBA and you can also visit scottishrugby.org for in-game updates straight from the pitch in Dublin.
The team to face Ireland for the fixture was announced on Friday online. Head Coach Philip Doyle said on the fixture and the selection: “It is great to have key players Chloe Rollie and Rachel Malcolm back in the starting team. Evie Tonkin played well at full-back in Spain, but this is such a big game and Chloe’s experience will be invaluable.
“It is super to have Sarah Law back from injury. I am looking forward to her making a presence on the field when she comes on.”
Ireland are currently ranked 10th in the world with Scotland sitting one place behind at 11th. Scotland lost out to Ireland 5-22 in the 2019 Women’s Six Nations Championships, but the last time they travelled to Donnybrook they beat the hosts 12-15 in 2018.
Doyle, who took over the role of Scotland Women Head Coach mid 2019, was the Ireland Women Head Coach until 2014.
Doyle talked about coming to Dublin: “It is going to be a great occasion for obvious reasons. The squad are really up for it and love playing at Energia Park.
“They are champing at the bit to get going. They love the Six Nations and have a renewed focus this year. It is all on closing the gap on the other nations.” Philip Doyle
Vice-captain Helen Nelson spoke about how the team are feeling ahead of the first Women’s Six Nations match saying: “The atmosphere in camp ahead of the Six Nations is excitement overall.
“Obviously we had a good tour to South Africa and then a bit of a disappointing Autumn. It’s just a bit of building and our main goal is still World Cup qualification in the Autumn, but we’re in a really good place at the moment
“I think the win from Spain has given us a lot of confidence and shown that we can compete and I think losing to Japan in the last play is dealing with that momentum shift and our mindset so it’s showing that we can win and we’ve got a lot to prove this Six Nations.”
Full-back Chloe Rollie, who has recently returned from injury, reiterated Nelson’s points and talked about the impact that Doyle (Goose) has had on the squad. She said: “I feel like every camp we come in, we all gather a bit more information about how we want to play, even on a culture kind of thing as well – we get to know each other a little better and I think the change is there, it’s happening.
“I think Goose has come in with a new view and a new game plan for us which is helping us. He has made sure we all know the roles, which has really helped us as a squad and made us all gel together as a 25-person squad.
It’s made us open our eyes a bit and made us realise that if we do this and this, we’ll get the results and stay focused on that.”
Get your tickets for the opening Women’s Six Nations match between Scotland and Ireland HERE. If you’re heading to the Guinness Six Nations match on Saturday, Energia Park in Donnybrook is just a 15-minute walk from the Aviva Stadium.
All focus will turn to the Scotstoun after the full-time whistle blows in Ireland. They welcome defending Grand Slam champions England to Scotstoun in Round 2 on Sunday 9 February (kick-off 12.10pm)
Their second home match will also be at Scotstoun in a big Saturday night fixture against France on Saturday 7 March (kick-off 7.45pm).
Tickets for the two home fixtures are available at www.scottishrugbytickets.com. Adults £15, U18 £5 and U12 only £1* (with a paying adult, increases to £5 on match day).