Scotland Women’s 7s squad for Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series opener announced

Scott Forrest's must finish in the top three of non-core teams in the series to reach the qualifiers for 2020 World Rugby Women’s 7s Series

Louise McMillan has been called into the Scotland Women 7s squad. Image: © Craig Watson

SCOTT FORREST has made four changes to the Scotland Women’s 7s team which competed as a guest side in the final round of the HSBC World Rugby Series in Biarritz a fortnight ago, ahead of the first round of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series in Marcoussis this coming weekend.

To reach the qualifiers for the 2020 World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series, Scotland will need to finish in the top three of the non-core teams. For the first leg of the Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series, Scotland have been placed in a pool with Ireland, Italy and Spain.

In the 2018 Rugby Europe Grand Prix Series, Scotland came fourth behind Russia, France and Ireland. As the highest non-World Series core nation, they were invited to the final leg of the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series.

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The squad have just returned from this tournament where they recorded a momentous match win against Ireland, the only invited team to record a win this season. The squad also played in the World Series Qualifiers in Hong Kong in April, where they were runners-up.

Liz Musgrove, Louise McMillan and Rachel McLachlan all return to the squad, with the latter looking to replicate her fifteen form which saw her make more tackles during the recent Six Nations than any other player.

Sarah Denholm is set to pick yp her first cap for Scotland Women 7s, having graduated through last year’s Scottish Futures U18 7s programme.

Helen Nelson continues as captain and will be joined by Abi Evans, Megan Gaffney, Lisa Thomson, Jenny Maxwell, Chloe Rollie, Hannah Smith and Rhona Lloyd. All of whom played in Biarritz earlier this month.

“Biarritz was a good weekend for us,” said Nelson. “We went not putting too much pressure on ourselves and not too much expectation. We were wanting to use it to improve as we look towards Europe. It is going to be a really important summer for us as we look to qualify for the World Rugby Women’s Sevens World Series qualifiers again.”

Forrst added: “We are going into Europe in a positive place. The team have gelled and developed so much over the last few months and to come away with a win [against Ireland] in Biarritz was a fantastic achievement.

“The Rugby Europe competitions will be really important for us this year and I am excited to see what the squad will bring to the pitch.

“I am looking forward to seeing what Rachel and Sarah will bring to the team. Rachel had a strong start to her international career in the XVs this year and Sarah has really proved herself at training over the last few months.”

Scotland Sevens squad to travel to Marcoussis –

Sarah Denholm (Biggar RFC)

Abi Evans (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Megan Gaffney (Watsonians)

Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning)

Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning)

Rachel McLachlan (Stirling County)

Louise McMillan (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Liz Musgrove (Hong Kong RFC)

Helen Nelson (Montpellier)

Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvios)

Hannah Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill)

Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park RFC)

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About David Barnes 3911 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.