Edinburgh and Glasgow Warriors line-ups for Celtic Challenge opener revealed

Scotland international Jenny Maxwell set for return after a 20 month injury lay-off

Jenny Maxwell will line-up at scrum-half for Edinburgh against Glasgow Warriors in her first game back after 20 months out with a knee injury. Image courtesy: Edinburgh Rugby
Jenny Maxwell will line-up at scrum-half for Edinburgh against Glasgow Warriors in her first game back after 20 months out with a knee injury. Image courtesy: Edinburgh Rugby

EXPERIENCED Scotland cap Jenny Maxwell will play her first competitive match since April 2022 after being named in the Edinburgh Rugby starting XV for tomorrow’s historic clash against Glasgow Warriors at Hive Stadium [12 noon]. It will be the first time representative sides representing the two cities will lock-horns in the women’s game.

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Maxwell – the 31-year-old Loughborough Lightning scrum-half who is available to Edinburgh through a short term release agreement – has been out of action since suffering a serious knee injury versus Italy in last year’s Six Nations. She will be partnered at half-back by another international, Sarah Denholm, with the Edinburgh University player skippering the side.

The other internationals in the Edinburgh squad are centre Emma Orr (Heriot’s/Biggar) and replacement loosehead Panashe Muzambe (Exeter Chiefs). Openside Alex Stewart of Corstorphine Cougars will be vice-captain with her club having five representatives in the 23 and Edinburgh University six.


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Other players to watch out for could be Cieron Bell, the winger who has been in fine try scoring form for Edinburgh University in recent months, and second-row Fiona McIntosh (Saracens) who was part of the victorious Scotland WXV 2 squad, but is as yet uncapped.

Head coach Claire Cruikshank said: “It’s hugely exciting to be able to name our first side for Saturday’s Celtic Challenge match against Glasgow.

“It’s a side that is packed with talent, and I’m looking forward to seeing how they perform against what will be a tough opposition in Glasgow.

“A lot of the players from both sides will know each other well, so it’ll be a challenge for all involved.

“The anticipation for the game has been building for a while, and we can’t wait to get out there in front of a big crowd at Hive Stadium.”

 

Like Edinburgh, Glasgow have four full Scotland caps in their match-day 23. Saracens’ second-row Louise McMillan starts as does Watsonians No 8 Lucy Winter, while her club-mate Sophie Anderson and Exeter Chiefs scrum-half Mairi McDonald are on the bench.

Edinburgh University scrum-half Rhea Clarke and Corstorphine Cougars’ second-row Emma Turner co-captain the side. Both were members of the extended Scotland squad for the Six Nations earlier in the year, but are as yet uncapped.

After they won the women’s Premiership final recently, Stirling County are well represented in the 23 and player-of-the-match from that game, Ceitidh Ainsworth, is certainly one to watch at 10. There are five County players in the starting XV.

County youngster Lucy MacRae (Edinburgh University) at 12, Izzy Hannay (Durham University and Harlequins) at openside and Stirling’s Holland Bogan at six are all worth keeping an eye on.

Head coach Chris Laidlaw said:  “Selection has been challenging which is exactly what we want, we want this group to be pushing each other week in, week out and driving each other to be better.

“The opportunity that this 23 have to represent this group and this club is massive. Everyone in this group feels part of this challenge and we’ve tasked the 23 selected to lay down a marker and set out what we’re about as a group.

“Everyone is excited and raring to go as we prepare for a massive opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of this club.”

 

Edinburgh Rugby (to play Glasgow Warriors at 12 noon at Hive Stadium on Saturday): N Marlow; H Walker, E Orr, B McNamara, C Bell; S Denholm©, J Maxwell; P Fletcher, N Haynes, K Lindsay, F McIntosh, N Logan, G Bell, A Stewart, M Gunderson. Subs: M Whitehouse, P Muzambe, M Poolman, A Ferrie, F Walker, L Brebner-Holden, H Ramsay, R Phillips.

Glasgow Warriors: I McGuire-Evans; S Phimister, C McLaren, L MacRae, R Fraser; C Ainsworth, R Clarke©; A Tucker, N Simpson, E Fleming, E Turner©, L McMillan, H Bogan, I Hannay, L Winter. Subs: K Craig, F Fraser, D Lee, S Anderson, E Thomson, M McDonald, C McDonald, P Kellie.


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About Gary Heatly 441 Articles
Gary has loved rugby ever since he can remember and since 2004 he has covered the sport and others in a professional capacity for many publications and websites and runs his own company, GH Media.