Scotland U20s announce squad for Women’s Six Nations Summer Series

Poppy Fletcher and Hannah Walker named as captains for the tournament in Italy

Stirling County's Hannah Walker has been named in the Scotland Women Under-18s squad. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Hannah Walker, a former Scotland Under-18 cap, has been named as co-captain of the U20s squad for the Six Nations Summer Series. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND Under-20s coach Claire Cruikshank has announced a 30-player squad comprising 17 forwards and 13 backs for next month’s Women’s Six Nations Summer Series in Parma. 

Edinburgh duo Poppy Fletcher and Hannah Walker have been named as co-captains of the group, who will play against Italy, France and Ireland in the new tournament. An individual matchday captain will be selected each time.

Of the 30, 25 were involved in this year’s Celtic Challenge with either Edinburgh or Glasgow Warriors, while 23 get support from Scottish Rugby’s regional training centres.


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Four players –  Nicole Flynn, Natasha Logan, Merryn Gunderson and Leia Brebner-Holden – were members of the senior Scotland Women’s squad in this year’s Six Nations Championship. Logan and Brebner-Holden are two of the five under-23 (but over-20) players selected, Rhea Clarke, Ellie Williamson and Nicole Marlow being the other three.

“The selected squad is an exciting mix of talent,” Cruikshank said. “There are players who have come through the pathway, age-grade at under-18 level, who have been involved with the Scotland Futures last year, plus players from the Scottish Qualified Programme.

“The vast majority of players have come through from the Celtic Challenge, playing for Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors, and that gives us a level of readiness for what’s to come in Parma.

“This competition is a great chance to test ourselves against international opposition at this age and stage of players’ development in this new Summer Series, which is a really exciting prospect. We played against Italy and Ireland as the Scotland Futures in Rome last year, so we have an idea of what to expect from them: they’re going to bring different challenges.

“The beauty of this competition is we will have to adapt very quickly. There’s not much turn-around between games, but that’s another good experience for us. We’re super-excited to expose ourselves to that level of rugby at age-grade international level.”

The squad have been training for the tournament both at home and at a training camp in Wales alongside the Welsh squad. “It’s great training against yourselves and the girls have been really pushing each other, but to go to Wales and put ourselves under pressure in opposed training sessions and a hit out is really important for us ahead of going to Italy”, Cruikshank added.

 

Scotland Under-20s squad for Women’s Six Nations Summer Series: 

Forwards: Aila Ronald (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby), Chloe Brown (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Ellie Williamson (West of Scotland/Glasgow Warriors), Eilidh Fleming (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Gemma Bell (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury/Edinburgh Rugby), Holland Bogan (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Karis Craig (Watsonians/Glasgow Warriors), Lauryn Walter (Brunel University/Ealing Trailfinders), Lucy Christie (Newcastle University), Merryn Gunderson (Corstorphine Cougars/Edinburgh Rugby), Megan Hyland (Garioch/Glasgow Warriors), Molly Poolman (Watsonians/Edinburgh Rugby), Natasha Logan (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby), Poppy Fletcher (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby), Poppy Clarkson (Biggar), Samaanther Taganekurukuru (Stirling County/Edinburgh Rugby), Talei Tawake (Watsonians).

Backs: Ami Conchie (Watsonian FC/Edinburgh Rugby), Rebekah Douglas (Corstorphine Cougars/Edinburgh Rugby), Ceitidh Ainsworth (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors), Hannah Walker (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby), Hannah Ramsay (Unattached/Edinburgh Rugby), Isobel McGuire-Evans (Sale Sharks/Glasgow Warriors), Leia Brebner-Holden (Gloucester Hartpury/Edinburgh Rugby), Lucia Scott (Hartpury University/Gloucester Hartpury), Lucy MacRae (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors), Nicole Marlow (Cardiff Metropolitan University/Edinburgh Rugby), Nicole Flynn (University of Edinburgh/Edinburgh Rugby), Rhea Clarke (University of Edinburgh/Glasgow Warriors), Sky Phimister (Stirling County/Glasgow Warriors).

Fixtures: 

  • Thurs 4 July: Italy v Scotland 8pm.     
  • Tues 9: Scotland v France 5.30pm.
  • Sun 14: Ireland v Scotland 9am.
  • Scotland’s games will be shown on scottishrugby.org. All other games are avaiable via the Six Nations YouTube channel.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1436 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.

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