Scotland team named for Italy opener
Scotland Women Head Coach Bryan Easson has named his team to face Italy in this Monday’s opening Rugby World Cup 2021 Europe Qualifiers match (13 September, kick-off 2pm BST / 3pm local time) – live on BBC ALBA.
In the front-row, hooker Lana Skeldon packs down alongside Leah Bartlett and Christine Belisle, while Emma Wassell links up with Sarah Bonar in the second-row.
Captain Rachel Malcolm joins Louise McMillan and Jade Konkel to form a formidable back-row.
Jenny Maxwell gets the nod at scrum-half, continuing her half-back partnership with Helen Nelson, while Lisa Thomson and Hannah Smith are paired together in the centres, with the players retaining their places in the starting XV from the side’s last outing back in April.
An experienced back-three sees Chloe Rollie start at full-back with Rhona Lloyd and Megan Gaffney selected on the wings.
Easson said: “The squad have worked tirelessly over the past year to get to this point but we know that this group of players will fully embrace the challenge ahead and will give it everything on the pitch.
“I’ve been really encouraged by the level of work and detail that the full squad has produced in camp this week and the focus now is to keep believing in ourselves.
“We know that the game against Italy is of vital importance to qualification chances and we’ll be looking to deliver a full 80-minute performance tomorrow.”
The match is the first of three to decide who will play in next year’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, with the second match against Spain to be played six days later on Sunday 19 September (kick-off 5pm BST / 6pm local time). Scotland's final match of the tournament will see them take on Ireland on Saturday 25 September (kick-off 5pm BST / 6pm local time).
The winner of the tournament will qualify as Europe 1 and join Canada and USA in Pool B at RWC 2021, playing in 2022, in New Zealand with the runner-up earning a further opportunity to qualify via the Final Qualification Tournament, with dates and location to be announced at a later stage.
You can follow all the action live on BBC ALBA and across Rugby World Cup’s social channels and website. Live updates will also be provided on scottishrugby.org.
Scotland Women team to face Italy on Monday at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma (kick-off 2pm BST / 3pm local time) – live on BBC ALBA
15. Chloe Rollie (Exeter Chiefs) – 40 caps
14. Rhona Lloyd (Les Lionness Du Stade Bordelais) – 28 caps
13. Hannah Smith (Watsonians) – 26 caps
12. Lisa Thomson (Sale Sharks) – 35 caps
11. Megan Gaffney (Heriot’s) – 17 caps
10. Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning) – 32 caps
9. Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning) – 32 caps
1. Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning) – 7 caps
2. Lana Skeldon (Unattached) – 43 caps
3. Christine Belisle (Cartha Queens Park) – 7 caps
4. Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning) – 47 caps
5. Sarah Bonar (Harlequins) – 22 caps
6. Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning) CAPTAIN – 19 caps
7. Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 26 caps
8. Jade Konkel (Harlequins) – 44 caps
16. Molly Wright (Watsonians) – 5 caps
17. Lisa Cockburn (Darlington Mowden Park) – 18 caps
18. Katie Dougan (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 13 caps
19. Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks) – 19 caps
20. Evie Gallagher (Stirling County) – 3 caps
21. Mairi McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill) – 6 caps
22. Sarah Law (Sale Sharks) – 43 caps
23. Liz Musgrove (Unattached) – 10 caps