RWC Qualifiers: Ireland v Scotland: same again as Easson’s team hunt World Cup glory

Second-row Emmas Wassell set to make her 50th consecutive appearance since debut in 2014

Scotland centre Lisa Thomson is tackled by Michelle Claffey during the 2020 Six Nations. Image: © Craig Watson
Scotland centre Lisa Thomson is tackled by Michelle Claffey during the 2020 Six Nations. Image: © Craig Watson

SCOTLAND WOMEN head coach Bryan Easson has stuck with the starting XV which secured an excellent win over Spain last Sunday for tomorrow’s do-or-die clash against Ireland at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma, Italy (kick-off: 5pm).

With all four teams in this World Cup qualification tournament on the same number of league points, the Scots know that any sort of win will see them either qualify directly for next year’s tournament in New Zealand or, at the very least, progress to one final repechage competition. Scotland have to qualified for a World Cup since 2010.

Lock Emma Wassell will reach the 50 match milestone in this match, with her achievement all the more remarkable because she has reached the half century without missing a single game since making her debut against Ireland during the 2014 Six Nations.

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Meanwhile, Sarah Bonar returns to the squad having missed last Sunday’s match due to work commitments, with the addition of the lock the only change on the bench.

“I think the group that secured the victory against Spain last weekend deserved another start for this game,” said Easson.

“The whole squad have been brilliant throughout this campaign and I think it’s important to reward the players who put on a really impressive performance on Sunday.

“Sarah Bonar, who is a vital part of this squad, also returns to feature on the bench which is a huge boost for us as she brings a great deal of experience to the team.


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“Discipline on both sides of the ball has been the focus for us this week. Discipline doesn’t just refer to the penalty count, it means about playing in the right areas, keeping the ball and doing the simple things well.

“We’ve spoken about getting the basics right throughout the tournament and with this being an extremely important test match, we will be looking to make sure we are clinical in executing our game plan.”

Ireland are have an unchanged starting XV and one change on the bench, with Lucy Mulhall coming into the 23 in place of the injured Enya Breen.

Scotland (v Ireland at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Parma, Saturday 25th September, 5pm BST): C Rollie; R Lloyd, H Smith, L Thomson, M Gaffney; H Nelson, J Maxwell; L Bartlett, L Skeldon, C Belisle, E Wassell, L McMillan, R McLachlan, R Malcolm©,  J Konkel. Substitutes: M Wright, L Cockburn, K  Dougan, S Bonar, E Gallagher, M McDonald, S Law, A Evans.

Ireland: E Considine; A Murphy Crowe, E Higgins, S Naoupu, B Parsons; S Flood, K Dane; L Feely, C Moloney, L Djougang; N Fryday, S Monaghan, D Wall, E McMahon, C Griffin©. Substitutes: N Jones, L Peat, L Lyons, B Hogan, C Molloy, E Lane, L Mulhall, L Delany.

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About David Barnes 2616 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.