Spain v Scotland: Shade Munro makes three changes for Madrid Test

Former captain Lisa Martin drops to bench as part of midfield reshuffle

Hannah Smith in action for Scotland against France in last year's Six Nations. Image:©INPHO/Craig Watson.

HANNAH Smith, Louise McMillan and Annabel Sergeant have returned to the Scotland team to play Spain in Madrid tomorrow, the final friendly for Shade Munro’s side before the Six Nations. Sergeant replaces Abi Evans on the left wing, outside centre Smith returns in a back-division reshuffle that sees stand-off Lisa Martin drop to the bench, and McMillan takes over from the injured Jade Konkel in a recast back row. On the bench, forwards Sophie Anderson and Lucy Minty feature in a national squad for the first time.

McMillan comes in on the blindside, with Siobhan Cattigan moving to take Konkel’s usual position at No 8. Smith’s return to midfield sees captain Lisa Thomson switch to inside centre, with Helen Nelson moving from 12 to 10.

“I am excited to welcome Hannah back into the team for this match against Spain,” Munro said. “She is a great asset to have on the pitch and it will be good to see what she will bring in this match.

Helen Nelson will be playing at 10, a position that she knows well and currently plays for Montpellier. Annabel Sergeant has settled back into the squad after her time away in Australia. She has earned her spot in the starting team.

“Spain are ranked ninth in the world, two spots ahead of ourselves. They have had a successful Autumn Test series so far, beating Hong Kong 60-5 and South Africa 17-5. This should be a tough Test and what we need ahead of the Six Nations.”

Having lost at home to fourth-ranked Canada by just three points in November, Scotland need another performance at that level – ideally one that also produces a win. They also need to prove that they can play at or close to their best away from home, something that has historically been a problem for them and was again in evidence in the first Test of the season, a 38-0 defeat by Italy. The Italians are the first opponents for Munro’s team in the Six Nations when they visit Scotstoun on Friday 1 February.

Scotland (v Spain in Madrid, Sunday 11.30am GMT, live on www.rtve.es/directo/teledeporte): Chloe Rollie (Lille); Lauren Harris (Bristol), Hannah Smith (Hillhead/Jordanhill) Lisa Thomson (Darlington, captain), Annabel Sergeant (Heriot’s); Helen Nelson (Montpellier), Mhairi Grieve (Firwood Waterloo); Lisa Cockburn (Darlington), Lana Skeldon (Watsonians), Megan Kennedy (Stirling County), Emma Wassell (Heriot’s), Nicola Howat (Edinburgh University), Louise McMillan (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Rachel McLachlan (Stirling County), Siobhan Cattigan (Stirling County). Substitutes: Jodie Rettie (Saracens), Mairi Forsyth (Stirling County), Lucy Minty (Heriot’s), Sophie Anderson (Hillhead/Jordanhill), Lucy Winter (Edinburgh University), Jenny Maxwell (Loughborough Lightning), Lisa Martin (Lille), Abi Evans (Hillhead/Jordanhill).

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Stuart Bathgate
About Stuart Bathgate 619 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.