Scotland captain Martin tips team-mates to be world’s best

Lisa Martin (far right) and the other Six Nations captains. Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

SCOTLAND captain Lisa Martin is confident that her team can keep on getting better for some time to come – and that certain individuals in the squad have the potential to be the best in the world in their position. As a centre, the 27-year-old confined herself to mentioning only a couple of her fellow-backs by name, but stressed that the important thing is the serious potential that exists throughout the squad.

“We’ve got a very young squad,” Martin said. “It’s stayed together for the past couple of years and developed.

“There are certain players that you’ll look at in the squad and in training and you’re like ‘This player can go all the way, this player can be a world best in that position’. To be able to speak about that in terms of a Scottish player like that is massive.

“You’ve got to say, to be honest, probably Chloe Rollie,” she continued when asked to name one or two who could develop into the best on the planet. “She’s massively dangerous at 15. Just the excitement she brings to the game – she could be the best in her position in the world.

“You’ve got to look at [winger] Rhona Lloyd as well. She’s got some serious potential, she’s got pace to burn – just give her a couple more years of development, and a bit more rugby in her, and she could be tearing teams apart.

“To name but two, as backs . . . . I know what I’m talking about when it’s backs.”

Becoming the best in the world may happen in time to those two players or other members of the squad, but the theme this week is a more modest one: conquering Colwyn Bay, where Scotland will play Wales in the opening game in the Six Nations Championship. Having beaten both the Welsh and Italy at home last year, the Scots are in a far more confident from of mind going into the tournament than they have been for some time, and although Martin knows that winning away from home is a different proposition, she appears sure that the team can give a good account of themselves on Friday night.

“Having those two wins was fantastic, and gives us a big confidence boost going into the Wales game. Obviously away crowds are never really going to be in our favour, but it’s about using that buzz, and motivating ourselves. It’s always difficult to play away no matter where you are, but we are looking to do really well down in Wales. I think we can come away with a very good result down there.

“That monkey’s off our back now in terms of the win, then to back the win against Wales up with a win against Italy – it kind of got a little bit infectious after that. You got a little bit greedy wanting to get more wins on the board and get that buzz and that feeling in the changing room again.

“Yeah, we can start talking about winning and improving, but we’re making sure we’re not getting too ahead of ourselves in terms of looking to be world-beaters straight off the bat. We’re very grounded in terms of where we are as a squad and where we’re looking to go and the journey that we’re going to go through as a squad in the Six Nations.

“There’s definitely been a weight lifted off the players’ minds. It’s not worrying about if or anything like that now, it’s more of a when. Winning is infectious and we want to make that a habit of of ours now. We’re getting a little bit greedy about winning now, which is quite exciting.”

 

About Stuart Bathgate 1131 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.