SCOTLAND coach Bryan Easson has named three uncapped players – Fiona McIntosh, Holly McIntyre and Demi Swann – in his final squad of 30 for next month’s WXV2 tournament in South Africa. The group is divided into 17 forwards and 13 backs, and will be without squad regulars Shona Campbell, Jenny Maxwell, Evie Wills and Molly Wright because of injury.
Edinburgh University centre McIntyre was in the larger training squad announced by Easson last month, but Saracens lock McIntosh and Worcester Warriors loosehead Swann are new to the squad. “It was brought to our attention towards the end of the TikTok Six Nations that Demi was coming over to England to play for Worcester,” Easson said of Swann, who is Canadian but qualifies as her mother is from Troon.
“We knew that she had Scottish heritage, so myself and Ellen Dickson, our team manager, travelled down to Troon to meet her – her parents were over and her grandparents have got a place there. We had a really good conversation with her.
“She’s from a wrestling background and has fought at a high level in Canada. She has been looked at by the Canada 15s squad as well, but we’ve been feeding her Irn-Bru and haggis so she’s feeling extremely Scottish now.
“Fee McIntosh is someone we’ve been speaking to for a while, but she was finishing off her studies. She has finished them now and is desperate to come in. She’s an out-and-out second row.
“And Holly McIntyre has come through and done really well. I’ve always been impressed by her athleticism, and she is really coachable. Playing regularly at 13, for the university and for the Thistles, has probably helped her. She has really kicked on and has deservedly got her place.”
Another uncapped player, Garioch hooker Nikki Simpson, was in Easson’s training squad but has missed out on final selection, as has Exeter wing Eilidh Sinclair.
Two of the four who miss out through injury, Maxwell and Wright, are close to completing their long-term recovery programmes. More recently, Campbell sustained a shoulder injury while with the Team GB Sevens squad, and Wills injured an ACL in the summer while training with her new club Leicester .
“There were 10 players out for the Six Nations, so coming into this one we’re looking at four players out,” Easson added. “We’ve been able to build a really good base of players. We’ve got the balance about right.”
Scotland will warm up for WXV 2 with a friendly against Spain at Edinburgh’s Hive Stadium a week on Saturday (30th). Lock Emma Wassell is concluding her recovery from injury and it is not yet certain if she will be passed fit for that match, but she will definitely be available for the games in South Africa against Japan, the United States and the hosts.
Scotland squad for WXV 2:
Forwards (17): Leah Bartlett (Leicester Tigers), Christine Belisle (Loughborough Lightning), Sarah Bonar (Harlequins), Elliann Clarke (Bristol Bears), Lisa Cockburn (University of Worcester Warriors), Eva Donaldson (Leicester Tigers), Evie Gallagher (University of Worcester Warriors), Jade Konkel (Harlequins), Rachel Malcolm (Loughborough Lightning, captain), Elis Martin (Leicester Tigers), Fiona McIntosh (Saracens), Rachel McLachlan (Sale Sharks), Louise McMillan (Saracens), Lana Skeldon (University of Worcester Warriors), Demi Swann (University of Worcester Warriors), Emma Wassell (Loughborough Lightning), Anne Young (Sale Sharks).
Backs (13): Beth Blacklock (Saracens), Coreen Grant (Saracens), Caity Mattinson (University of Worcester Warriors), Mairi McDonald (Exeter Chiefs), Francesca McGhie (Leicester Tigers), Holly McIntyre (University of Edinburgh), Rhona Lloyd (GB 7s/Les Lionnes du Stade Bordelais), Liz Musgrove (Ealing Trailfinders), Helen Nelson (Loughborough Lightning), Emma Orr (Heriot’s/Biggar), Lisa Thomson (GB 7s), Chloe Rollie (Loughborough Lightning), Meryl Smith (Bristol Bears).