SCOTT FORREST has named his squad to travel to the final World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series event in Biarritz this weekend.
The team have been given a wildcard invite to the tournament after a successful season in the Rugby Europe Grand Prix, and have been drawn in a pool alongside New Zealand, England and Russia.
Nine of the twelve players travelling were part of the squad that came close to promotion into the World Sevens Series following their second-place finish at the World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series Hong Kong qualifiers in April.
Helen Nelson, who has recently helped her French club Montpellier defend their domestic title, will continue to captain the squad.
Nelson will be joined by fellow Scotland Women XV players, Abi Evans, Annabel Sergeant, Lisa Thomson, Jenny Maxwell, Chloe Rollie, Hannah Smith and Rhona Lloyd.
Megan Gaffney, who returned to the Scotland Women 7s squad earlier this year, after a short spell travelling abroad, is also selected.
Eilidh Sinclair, who has 18 caps for Scotland Women, three caps for Scotland Women 7s and is currently playing for Queensland Reds in Australia, also returns to the squad.
The tournament will potentially allow two new players to receive Scotland Women 7s caps with the addition of Meryl Smith (ne of the standout performers in last season’s U18 7s programme and has progressed through the Scottish Futures U20s over the past year) and Evie Tonkin (who plays for DMP Sharks in the Tyrells Premiership).
“We are really excited to have the opportunity to play at a World Rugby Sevens Series event,” said Forrest. “The team played fantastically well at the Hong Kong qualifiers, but it was clear that we are lacking the experience of playing in pressure situations in front of big crowds. Playing at Biarritz against top Sevens teams such as New Zealand and England will be a really valuable experience for the players.”
“Meryl has performed well in training and deserves her opportunity to test herself at a higher level. It is exciting to be able to bring in some new young players and really expand the depth of our team. It is great to welcome Evie into the squad as well. She comes with experience of playing in a quality league in England and I think she will be an asset to the squad.”
Scotland Sevens squad: Abi Evans (Hillhead Jordanhill); Megan Gaffney (Watsonians); Rhona Lloyd (Loughborough Lightning); Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning); Helen Nelson (Montpellier); Chloe Rollie (Lille Metropole Rugby Club Villeneuvios); Annabel Sergeant (Heriots RFC); Eilidh Sinclair (Queensland Reds); Hannah Smith (Hillhead Jordanhill); Meryl Smith (Murrayfield Wanderers); Lisa Thomson (Darlington Mowden Park RFC); Evie Tonkin (Darlington Mowden Park RFC).