SCOTLAND Sevens coach Scott Forrest has been able to select his strongest squad ever for next week’s HSBC World Series qualifier in Hong Kong, with all 12 of the players chosen being full internationals. Helen Nelson will again captain the side, who need to win the tournament to go through to the World Series proper, while Louise McMillan returns from injury.
Day One will see Scotland play Belgium, Japan and Mexico in Pool A, then on day two the eight best teams from the pool stages will compete in a seeded knockout competition. “This is by far the strongest sevens squad that I have ever been able to select,” Forrest said. “As a coach it’s nice to actually have some tough choices to make. There are a couple of players who will be disappointed not to take part.
“Despite our preparation for Hong Kong being relatively short, the players have trained well and there was a real competition for places in the final squad. We are well aware of the challenge in front of us and this starts with our first game against Belgium, who finished only one place behind us in Europe last season.”
Nelson and the other squad members who are based in France or England have been released by their clubs for the tournament. “Everyone wanted to be available for this tournament,” the head coach added. “Hong Kong is probably the best place in the world to go and play sevens.”
Forrest is currently assistant coach to the full Scotland women’s team in addition to his sevens duties, but he has decided not to apply for the position of head coach which is about to be vacated by Shade Munro after four seasons in charge. “I thought about it – I won’t be applying,” the 34-year-old said. “That’s just personally where I’m at in my development as a coach.
“I don’t think it’s the right step for me just now. There are still areas I’d like to develop in before stepping into a role like that. I really enjoy working with the sevens squad, but still having the ability to work as assistant coach with the 15s squad, for me, just now, is probably the right place to be.”
Scotland Sevens squad for HSBC World Series qualifier (Hong Kong, 4-5 April): Abi Evans (Hillhead Jordanhill), Megan Gaffney (Watsonians), Mhairi Grieve (Firwood Waterloo), Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning), Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning), Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), Liz Musgrove (Hong Kong), Helen Nelson (Montpellier), Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvois), Annabel Sergeant (Heriot’s), Hannah Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill), Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park).