Easson names side for Italian test

Easson names side for Italian test

Scotland Head Coach Bryan Easson has made nine changes to the starting line-up ahead of Saturday’s TikTok Women’s Six Nations match against Italy at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi (kick-off 7.20pm BST / 8.20pm local time) – live on BBC Scotland.

There are four changes in the forward pack, as Molly Wright makes her first start at loosehead prop, while Emma Wassell returns from injury to start in the second row. Rachel McLachlan comes in at openside flanker, while Evie Gallagher makes a positional change to start at number 8.

Sarah Law, who won her 50th cap against France, moves to stand-off from the bench and will form a half-back partnership with Caity Mattinson, who makes her first start for Scotland, while Shona Campbell returns to the fold to start on the wing.

There are also two positional changes in the backs as Helen Nelson and Lisa Thomson move to inside and outside centre respectively.

Easson said: “We’ve made a few changes to the starting team which reflects the depth that we are looking to build but it also shows the positive growth of this group.

“The players have really been pushing each other for places during training this week which is really pleasing to see ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

“Unfortunately, Jade Konkel has been ruled out for the remainder of the tournament through injury, but it does present that opportunity to others in such an important year.

“With two away games remaining, we want to close out our campaign with more clinical and composed performances against Italy and Ireland. We know that Italy typically play from deep within their territory and kick less than most teams in the tournament so we know what to expect and have prepared accordingly."

Lana Skeldon retains her place at hooker and will pack down alongside Wright and Christine Belisle.

A familiar second-row partnership comes into the engine room, as Wassell pairs up with Sarah Bonar, while captain Rachel Malcolm forms a formidable back-row with McLachlan and Gallagher.

Chloe Rollie, who was named the TikTok Women’s Six Nations Player of the Round after the France match, continues at full-back, with Campbell and Rhona Lloyd lining up on the wing.

You can also follow all the action live on BBC Scotland. Live updates will also be provided on scottishrugby.org

Scotland side to face Italy on Saturday 23 April at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma (kick-off 7.20pm BST / 8.20pm local time) – live on BBC Scotland

15. Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs) – 47 caps

14. Rhona Lloyd (Les Lioness du Stade Bordelaise) – 36 caps

13. Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks) – 43 caps

12. Helen Nelson VICE CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) – 40 caps

11. Shona Campbell (Edinburgh University) – 4 caps

10. Sarah Law (Sale Sharks) – 50 caps

9. Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors) – 3 caps

1. Molly Wright (Sale Sharks) – 12 caps

2. Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors) – 51 caps

3. Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning) – 15 caps

4. Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning) – 54 caps

5. Sarah Bonar (Harlequins) – 27 caps

6. Rachel Malcolm CAPTAIN (Loughborough Lightning) – 27 caps

7. Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 26 caps

8. Evie Gallagher (Stirling County) – 10 caps

Replacements

16. Jodie Rettie (Saracens) – 19 caps

17. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) – 14 caps

18. Katie Dougan (Gloucester Hartpury) – 16 caps

19. Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 34 caps

20. Anne Young (Edinburgh University) – 2 caps

21. Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning) – 39 caps

22. Hannah Smith (Watsonians) – 32 caps

23. Megan Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning) – 42 caps

Unavailable for selection: Jade Konkel, Lisa Cockburn

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