Philip Doyle says same again for Scotland team to play France

Squad look forward to playing at Scotstoun for first time in this Six Nations

Mairi McDonald
Scotland scrum-half Mairi McDonald in action against England last month. Image: © Craig Watson.

HAVING named a team that in the end did not get the chance to take the field against Italy, Scotland coach Philip Doyle has decided there is no reason to alter his selection for Saturday’s match against France.

It appears to be the strongest squad available to him, with Hannah Smith and Megan Gaffney in the starting line-up after missing the England game through injury.  “We are under no illusion that this is going to be a tough challenge playing against France,” Doyle said. “The squad are in a really good place, though, and are just eager to get on the field and focus on the match ahead.

“We are in a fortunate position to have no new injuries, so we didn’t feel the need to change the team at all following the selection for Italy. Following the postponement of the Italy match, they are all just really looking forward to playing on Saturday and are feeling fresh after the break.”

It will be the first real home game that Scotland have played in this Six Nations, as the game against England had to be switched to Murrayfield and played behind closed doors a day later than planned after Scotstoun was deemed unplayable because of bad weather. “These girls absolutely adore Scotstoun,” Doyle added. “We came in yesterday and they were saying it’s great to be home: it doesn’t matter the opposition we’re playing, it’s just great to be home again.

“We’ve had two really good days’ training, yesterday was a double-session day, two very informative sessions and the girls adapted to the game plan really well that Bryan [Easson, the assistant coach] has put in place for the attack.

“All bodes well for a good match, what the girls were saying is that it is a mindset thing, at the end of the day when you are playing France it is down to mindset. As coaches we can only put in place the game plan in defence and attack, but at the end of the day it is up to the girls to bring the right mindset and they’re looking forward to doing that.”

Scotland (v France at Scotstoun, Saturday 7.45pm): C Rollie; R Lloyd, H Smith, L Thomson, M Gaffney; H Nelson, M McDonald; L Bartlett, L Skeldon, M Forsyth, E Wassell, S Bonar, R Malcolm (captain), R McLachlan, J Konkel. Substitutes: M Wright, P Muzambe, L Cockburn, S Cattigan, L McMillan, S Law, R Law, E Tonkin.


About Stuart Bathgate 1413 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.