TikTok Women’s 6N: two uncapped players in Scotland squad to face England

Winger Francesca McGhie starts while centre Beth Blacklock is poised to make her debut off the bench

Scotland squad
The Scotland squad training at Oriam this week. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND coach Bryan Easson has named two uncapped players in his squad to take on England at Kingston Park in Saturday’s opening game of the TikTok Women’s Six Nations. Watsonians winger Francesca McGhie starts the match in Newcastle, while Harlequins centre Beth Blacklock is on the bench.

McGhie forms part of a three-quarter line that only has 11 caps between the four of them,  but there is substantial experience elsewhere in the team. Full-back Chloe Rollie and hooker Lana Skeldon have made over 50 appearances each,  while stand-off Helen Nelson, lock Louise McMillan and Rachel Malcolm, who captains the team from blindside, have also been regulars in recent seasons.

There are eight changes in all from the team’s last outing, the 57-0 defeat by hosts New Zealand at the Rugby World Cup last October.  The absentees from the backs are Hannah Smith, who has retired, and Lisa Thomson, Rhona Lloyd and Shona Campbell, all of whom are contracted to the Team GB Sevens squad but may be released for future games. The quartet missing from the pack are Molly Wright, Sarah Bonar, Jade Konkel-Roberts and Emma Wassell, all of whom are injured.

In addition to those eight, Megan Gaffney has also retired, and Jenny Maxwell and Lisa Cockburn are on the injury list.

Meanwhile, the fixtures for the 2024 Six Nations have been announced, with a visit to Wales first up for Scotland.

Scotland (v England at Kingston Park, Newcastle, Saturday 4.45pm):  Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning); Coreen Grant (Saracens), Emma Orr (Heriot’s Rugby/Biggar), Meryl Smith (University of Edinburgh), Francesca McGhie (Watsonians); Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning), Caity Mattinson (Worcester Warriors); Leah Bartlett (Loughborough Lightning), Lana Skeldon (Worcester Warriors), Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning), Lyndsay O’Donnell (Bristol Bears), Louise McMillan (Saracens), Rachel Malcolm (captain, Loughborough Lightning), Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks), Evie Gallagher (Worcester Warriors). Substitutes:  Jodie Rettie (Saracens), Anne Young (Sale Sharks), Elliann Clarke (University of Edinburgh), Eva Donaldson (University of Edinburgh), Eilidh Sinclair (Exeter Chiefs), Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs), Beth Blacklock (Harlequins), Liz Musgrove (Wasps).

England: Abby Dow; Jess Breach, Lagi Tuima, Amber Reed, Claudia MacDonald; Holly Aitchison, Lucy Packer; Mackenzie Carson, Amy Cokayne, Sarah Bern, Zoe Aldcroft, Poppy Cleall, Sadia Kabeya, Marlie Packer (co-captain), Sarah Hunter (co-captain). Substitutes: Lark Davies, Liz Crake, Kelsey Clifford, Catherine O’Donnell, Sarah Beckett, Ella Wyrwas, Tatyana Heard, Emma Sing.

2024 TikTok Women’s Six Nations – Scotland fixtures:

  • Saturday 23 March: Wales (A) 4.45pm
  • Sat 30: France (H) 2.15pm
  • Sat 13 April: England (H) 2.15pm
  • Sat 20: Italy (A) 4.45pm
  • Sat 27: Ireland (A) 2.30pm.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1414 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.

4 Comments

  1. A brutal hard first game and missing several of our very best forwards. So let’s stay positive whatever the result?!

  2. Looking forward to watching the games, how many of the squad are on a full time contract? Do we expect that to make a big difference this year?

    • I’d guess it will take another year or two to really kick in and it’s a tough break having England first up with so many injuries. Certainly a much needed step in right direction as otherwise the other nations would be stretching away from us. The other thing to look out for in the coming years is that at youth level participation is growing and standards are continually improving. Success isn’t around the corner but the direction of travel is at least better than our men at the moment.

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    • The media mention 28 players in contracts. How many of those as FT I have no idea.

      Just having a contract won’t magically change our performance and results and it will take time to show. Similarly the other nations are putting their players in contracts as well.

      As the men’s side are discovering. We improve and it shows. Other teams improve as well.

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