World Cup play-off: Bryan Easson names ex-England scrum-half in Scotland squad

Inverness-born Caity Mattinson is able to switch allegiances under World Rugby's new eligibility rules

Caity Mattinson
Caity Mattinson training with Scotland after being included by head Bryan Easson in his squad for the World Cup play-off in Dubai. Image: SNS Group/Scottish Rugby.

CAITY Mattinson, the scrum-half who won seven caps for England in 2017 and 2018, is the surprise inclusion in Scotland’s squad of 30 for the Rugby World Cup play-off in Dubai later this month.  Born in Inverness, Mattinson played seven times for England in 2017 and 2018 but is eligible to switch allegiances under World Rugby’s new rules given the length of time that has elapsed since her last appearance. 

“Caity has been really keen to return to international rugby and play for Scotland,” Easson said of the Worcester Warriors back.  “It will be great to see her involved with the group.

“As soon as Caity heard about the new ruling, she was the first one to say it was a dream of hers [to play for Scotland] and she was desperate to come back into the fold. I spoke to Caity, had a good long chat with her, and then invited her up to our camps in January. It’s been a real positive move for us.”

The squad of 30 announced this evening (Wednesday) includes two other players yet to turn out for Scotland – Edinburgh University pair Eva Donaldson and Meryl Smith. Experienced back Hannah Smith misses out on the trip to the Middle East because of suspension, but otherwise Easson has been able to select his strongest squad.

The Scots face a shoot-out against either Colombia or Kazakhstan on Friday 25 February, with the winners going through to the World Cup finals in New Zealand later in the year.

Scotland squad:

Forwards: L Bartlett, C Belisle (both Loughborough Lightning), S Bonar  (Harlequins), L Cockburn (Worcester Warriors), K Dougan (Gloucester Hartpury), E Donaldson (Edinburgh Uni), E Gallagher (Stirling County), J Konkel (Harlequins), R Malcolm (captain, Loughborough Lightning), R McLachlan (Sale Sharks), L McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill), L O’Donnell, L Skeldon (both Worcester Warriors), E Wassell (Loughborough Lightning), M Wright (Sale Sharks), A Young (Edinburgh Uni).

Backs: S Campbell (Edinburgh Uni), M Gaffney (Loughborough Lightning), C Grant (Saracens), S Law (Sale Sharks), Rhona Lloyd (Les Lionesses du Stade Bordelaise), C Mattinson (Worcester Warriors), J Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning), M McDonald (Hillhead Jordanhill), E Musgrove (unattached), H Nelson (Loughborough Lightning), C Rollie (Exeter Chiefs), M Smith (Edinburgh Uni), L Thomson (Sale Sharks), E Wills (Hillhead Jordanhill).

About Stuart Bathgate 1213 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.