Doyle announces squad for Spain Test
Philip Doyle has announced the Scotland squad that will be travelling to Spain next week for their Women’s Six Nations preparation match. The game will be played at the Estadio Municipal Juan Rojas, Almeria on Sunday 19 January (12pm CET / 11am GMT) and will be live on BBC Alba.
The squad includes five uncapped players and is designed to prepare the team for Test conditions ahead of their first Women’s Six Nations match against Ireland on Sunday 2 February.
The forwards selected include two uncapped players, Loughborough Lightning’s Leah Bartlett and Molly Wright from Watsonians. Bartlett has entered the squad through the Scottish Qualified programme, with Wright now having residency in Scotland having moved here over three years ago from New Zealand.
Rachel Malcolm, Scotland’s captain, will be travelling with the team, although the back row will be unable to play as she is still recovering from an operation on her hand. Vice-captain Helen Nelson will pick up the on-field captaincy in Malcolm’s absence.
Wright and Bartlett will support Lana Skeldon, Lisa Cockburn, Panashe Muzambe and Mairi Forsyth in the front row. The rest of the selected forwards include second rows Emma Wassell and Sarah Bonar, with Siobhan Cattigan, Christine Belisle, Rachel McLachlan, Jade Konkel and Louise McMillan all also vying for selection.
Skipper Nelson will be supported in the back division by Loughborough Lightning teammates Jenny Maxwell (scrum-half) and winger Rhona Lloyd. Edinburgh-based players Hannah Smith, Megan Gaffney and recently-capped Sarah Denholm are all selected as well as Darlington Mowden Park players Lisa Thomson and Evie Tonkin.
Full back Chloe Rollie is currently unavailable following an injury sustained in a Tyrells 15s match pre-Christmas.
Uncapped players in the backs include Rachel Law and Mairi McDonald who have been training with the Scotland Development squad for a number of years. Alex Wallace will also be hoping to receive her first cap for Scotland.
Head Coach Philip Doyle said: “I am excited to get to Spain and get this busy year underway. We had a camp at the start of January, which was a very physical, tough camp for the players. They were all worked extremely hard and all players were able to keep their work rate up and really push themselves.
“I am excited to see what the new players will bring into the squad. Our Scottish Qualified Programme and staff, under the leadership of Grant McKelvey, have done well in securing some new players to help us add depth in the squad going into an important year.
“We have a lot of youth in the squad right now. This has brought in an added competitiveness within the squad for certain positions. The players are all working hard for their positions and it has raised the standard in the whole squad.”
Scotland Women squad to travel to Spain
Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning)
Christine Belisle (Cartha Queens Park)
Sarah Bonar (Loughborough Lightning)
Lisa Cockburn (Darlington Mowden Park)
Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County RFC)
Mairi Forsyth (Corstorphine Cougars)
Jade Konkel (Harlequins)
Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning)
Rachel McLachlan (Darlington Mowden Park)
Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Panashe Muzambe (Watsonians/Edinburgh University)
Lana Skeldon (Darlington Mowden Park)
Emma Wassell (Corstorphine Cougars)
Molly Wright (Watsonians)
Sarah Denholm (Edinburgh University)
Megan Gaffney (Watsonians)
Rachel Law (Edinburgh University)
Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning)
Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)
Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill)
Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning)
Hannah Smith (Watsonians)
Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park)
Evie Tonkin (Darlington Mowden Park)
Alex Wallace (Harrogate RFC)
Scotland return to Scotstoun to play England on Sunday 9 February, followed by France on Saturday 7 March. Match tickets are on sale now for Scotland's Six Nations matches, secure your tickets now.